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Indybay Feature
Thu May 22 2008 (Updated 08/05/08)
State Limits for Possession and Cultivation of Medical Cannabis Ruled Unconstitutional
Thu May 22 2008 (Updated 08/05/08)
California Court Says that Since Voters Didn't Determine Limits, Section of Law Not Legal
On May 22nd in Los Angeles, the California Court of Appeals ruled that the state limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation that were established under state law SB 420 are unconstitutional. In the case People v. Patrick Kelly, the court overturned the defendant's conviction for possessing 12 ounces of dried marijuana plants on the grounds that the prosecutor had improperly argued that the defendant was guilty because he possessed more than the 8-ounce limit established in Health & Safety Code Section 11362.77 and did not have a doctor's recommendation that authorized more. That section also says that counties and cities can enact medical marijuana guidelines that allow patients or caregivers to exceed the state limits.

In its 3-0 decision, the court ruled: "The prosecutor's argument was improper... because the CUA [Compassionate Use Act] can only be amended with voters' approval. Voters, however, did not approve the eight-ounce limit and other caps in section 11362.77; hence, section 11362.77 unconstitutionally amends the CUA." The decision could be appealed to the Supreme Court. Prop. 215 advocates such as California NORML have long believed that the SB 420 limits are unconstitutional. Statement from California NORML

Text of Court of Appeals decision in People v. Patrick Kelly | Text of SB 420 | Text of Proposition 215
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