CalNORML to Challenge Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ruling

UPDATE January 3, 2014 - A brief was filed today.

December 11, 2013 - In an action supported by California NORML, medical marijuana patient James Maral will file a petition with the California Supreme Court to review the recent Third District Appellate Court decision upholding the city of Live Oak’s ban on medical marijuana cultivation.

San Francisco Attorney Joe Elford will draft and file the petition. “If you ban dispensaries and you ban cultivation, you’re ripping the heart out of California's medical marijuana laws,” said Elford. "This decision conflicts with the intent of the electorate and Legislature and should not be allowed to stand."

The announcement comes a day after Fresno county took steps to enact a total cultivation ban on first reading at its Board of Supervisors meeting. A second reading on the ordinance will take place on January 7.

Maral, 42, suffers from compartment syndrome, a painful life- and limb-threatening condition caused by insufficient blood supply to muscles and nerves. In addition, he has six damaged discs in his back, the result of his work as a heavy equipment driver. He and his family have lived in Live Oak for 15 years.

Maral is also a caretaker for his mother Donneda Maral, who has severe diverticulitis and Crohn's disease, for which she is frequently hospitalized.

"The only thing I'm fighting for is the patients who just want a couple of plants in their backyard," said Maral. "I'm not willing to let my mother die or live out the rest of her time in a hospital." The Marals live at least two hours away from any medical marijuana dispensary.

Cultivation is exempted from state law for medical marijuana patients by Proposition 215, passed by the voters in 1996. State law SB420 established a "floor" of 6 mature or 12 immature plants as allowable per patient, permitting cities and counties to pass ordinances allowing for greater, not lesser, amounts. The California Supreme Court threw out SB420's limits in People v. Kelly (2010), opting instead for allowing whatever a patient needs to grow.

Live Oak’s ban on medical marijuana cultivation took effect in January 2012, over the objections of local citizens. The only other known jurisdiction currently banning all medical marijuana cultivation is Tracy. Sacramento county has passed an ordinance zoning out anything federally illegal, and Sacramento sheriffs were out this year enforcing it by taking out gardens. The city of Selma rolled back their cultivation ban on October 16, voting to allow permitted, indoor gardens.

Prop. 215 co-author and CalNORML director Dale Gieringer, who sat on the state committee that wrote SB420, said, "The right of patients to grow their own medicine is fundamental to Prop. 215's stated purpose of ensuring that 'seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes.' The city of Live Oak has no legitimate business prohibiting Mr. Maral from growing the medicine he needs at his own private residence."

Established in 1972, California NORML is the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We are a non-profit, membership organization dedicated to reforming California's marijuana laws. Our mission is to establish the right of adults to use cannabis legally.

Also see: Pot proponents vow appeal to state Supreme Court in Live Oak case
Appeal Democrat, December 12, 2013

Cal NORML Not Conceding Fight Over Weed Cultivation Ban Findlaw.com December 12, 2013 3:01 PM


Two courts, court of Law and court of public opinion.

This cases do make the news and the opponents of medical marijuana are pursuing policies that are not only in direct conflict with the prop 215 and SB 420, but public opinion as well.

Public opinion is solidly supports "Medical Marijuana" and what these cases do is "shine" a light that the opponents of medical marijuana don't respect the "Democratic process".

The opponents of legalization actually argue that we have "medical marijuana", so these type ordinances will actually help sway public opinion to actually support outright legalization.

Standing up for rights is never easy, in fact it is often the hardest course of action, but the alternative is that if left unchecked, prop 215 will be gutted at the local level.

the POT law

People please THINK , the LAW against POT is ILLEGAL , its BASED only on a LIE and lot of UNDER the table MONEY ... Make the GOV tell the truth .....

for get SB 420 its illegal ,

for get SB 420 its illegal , the 215 law states a 100 foot canopy .. that means IF your plant is 2 foot around you CAN have 50 plants damn people read what we voted on

215 has no limits

Actually Prop. 215 had no limits, or allowable amounts. After it passed, some jurisdictions were allowing only one plant, or none at all, until we got SB420. There are links to the laws at: http://www.canorml.org/medical_marijuana_info

lawsuits don't work!

Lawsuits don't work only slows down what these elected officials want...only way to win and the fastest way is to vote out every fresno county supervisor and the fire it sets under all other clowns who go against the voting public will witness their day is coming next if they don't listen to what was passed in 1996...best way to get them to listen is to take thier job not a lawsuit that don't affect them and thier family like their decisions do ours...hit them directly where it hurts in the pocket!...put them in the unemployed statistic!

Yes, they do

Problem is that too many suits are undertaken with crappy attorneys who screw up the case. That's what happened in this instance.

With Joe and Dale on the front, better results are much more likely. The BS about reciminalizing cultivation needs to be stamped down pretty hard.