May 18, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear an appeal brought by San Diego and San Bernardino counties challenging the validity of California's medical marijuana laws. The Court's order leaves intact the rulings of California's state courts, holding that state medical marijuana laws are entirely valid despite the federal prohibition on marijuana. 

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented California medical marijuana patients in the proceedings, had urged the Court to decline the counties' challenge. The following may be attributed to Graham Boyd, Director of the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project:

"The Supreme Court's order marks a significant victory for medical marijuana patients and advocates nationwide. This case struck at the core of the contentious intersection between state and federal medical marijuana policy, and, once again, it is clear that state medical marijuana laws are fully valid. Coupled with the Department of Justice's recent pronouncements that the agency will respect state medical marijuana laws, the Court's order leaves ample room for states to move forward with enacting and implementing independent medical marijuana policies."

The ACLU's opposition brief to the Court can be found online at: /drugpolicy/medmarijuana/39603lgl20090415.html

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