What is People vs Kelly
What is People vs Kelly – Proposition 215 wrote the right to access medical cannabis into the law in California? California Proposition 215, also known as the Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative or the Compassionate Use Act, was on the November 5, 1996, general election ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was approved.
The passage of Proposition 215 is considered a significant victory for medical marijuana. It exempts patients and defined caregivers who possess or cultivate marijuana for medical treatment recommended by a physician from criminal laws which otherwise prohibit possession or cultivation of marijuana. Because of Proposition 215, California is one of the fourteen states that allow marijuana for medical uses.
In 2008, twelve years after Proposition 215 passed, the medical marijuana group “Americans for Safe Access” estimated that California had more than 200,000 doctor-qualified medical cannabis users.
In May 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a California state appellate ruling from 2008 that upheld Proposition 215 and concluded that California can decide whether to eliminate its own criminal penalties for medical marijuana regardless of federal law. The appellate ruling came about because of a lawsuit against Proposition 215 filed by San Diego and San Bernardino counties. These counties objected to Proposition 215 on the grounds that it requires them, in their view, to condone drug use that is illegal under federal law. They also challenged a law that requires counties to issue identification cards to medical marijuana patients so these patients can identify themselves to law enforcement officials as legally entitled to possess small amounts of marijuana.
There has been substantial litigation of the issue, and finally, People vs Kelly [47 Cal.4th 1008 (2010), [103 Cal. Rptr. 3d 733, 222 P.3d 186] was decided on January 21, 2010, by the California Supreme Court. The decision invalidated a law passed in 2003 by the California State Legislature on the grounds that the law imposed stricter standards on medical marijuana than is allowed under Proposition 215. Under the ruling, the state government is no longer allowed to impose any legal limits on the amount of marijuana that medical marijuana users can grow or possess.
The 2003 law limited medical marijuana users to 8 ounces of dried marijuana and six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants.
The basis for the court’s ruling in People v. Kelly is that the 2003 legislation amounted to an amendment to Proposition 215 and that the California Constitution prohibits legislative tampering with ballot initiatives approved by voters. The defendant in the case was Patrick Kevin Kelly, a user of medical marijuana.