Board of Supervisors Approves of Medical Marijuana ID Cards by 3-2 Vote

Share:
imageYolo County

The Yolo County Board of Supervisors earlier today heard an item to approve and authorize the implementation of the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program in Yolo County as required by Senate Bill 420. The Health Department would be the entity responsible for issuing identification cards to eligible residents.

Despite federal law making the possession of marijuana illegal, California law authorized by Senate Bill 420 in 2003 requires counties to issue medical marijuana identification cards for medicinal purposes. This authorization would be to simply accept an application and fee, take a photo of the user, a verification that the patient is a Yolo County resident and that the doctor is licensed in the state of California and indeed prescribed the drug to the patient. Medical marijuana would be allowed for patients with AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and other serious ailments. They may have up to eight ounces of marijuana in their possession and up to six plants per patient.

A number of individuals affiliated with various advocacy groups including health advocacy and patients advocacy made a strong case that marijuana had very strong positive effects.

Peter Simpson who is the executive director of a social service agency pointed out that marijuana has legitimate medication value for people with needs. People who are staving to death from AIDS and suffer nausea from pain medication are literally starving to death as they lack the calorie intake to survive. Marijuana use both reduces nausea and increases appetite.

Another concern raised was the instances of arrest for marijuana possession which has risen by a large margin in the last 15 to 20 years. This was presented as a means to keep sick people out of the legal system where they do not belong and allow them to get the help of that they need. Aaron Smith of the advocacy group Safe Access Now pointed out that this would help remove the burden from law enforcement to identify those who are legitimate users by providing them with a uniform means of identifying individuals who have legitimate purposes.

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig and Sheriff Ed Prieto both argued against this proposal from a legal standpoint. Reisig argued, “If this passes, it puts law enforcement in between a rock and a hard place.” He pointed out that the majority of counties have not gone this route. Moreover this is a “Violation of federal law, period.” The U.S. Supreme Court he argued, made it clear that federal law through supremacy cause makes federal law binding in the states.

Supervisor Mike McGowan asked District Attorney Reisig if an officer stopping someone is enforcing federal or state law?

Reisig completely avoided that question and simply repeated that this put a law enforcement officer between a rock and a hard place.

However, Reisig avoided the question because he knows full well that the county and local police do not enforce federal laws, rather they enforce state laws and the state law of California is clear, not only does the law allow the use of marijuana with the permission of a doctor for the purposes of medicinal use but the state law Senate Bill 420 requires counties to provide identification cards. And the State Supreme Court upheld this law this past December.

Supervisor Mariko Yamada strongly supported this item. She pointed out that she supported Proposition 215 in 1996. She said it requires courage to lead the way rather than someone else tell us what to do. She argued that this brings structure to what is already a chaotic system and that the issue was compassion versus criminalization.

Supervisor Helen Thomson moved this item and McGowan seconded the motion.

Supervisor Thomson said that the District Attorney and Sheriff are between a rock and a hard place.

“For me medical necessities outweigh that concern. Many people are helped with this ability to use this drug. It is time we got over the strange way of dividing how we access drugs for pain and get over punishing people who are in pain instead of helping them.”

The motion passed 3-2 with Rexroad and Chamberlain dissenting.

It was a bit disappointing to see Rexroad vote against the item as he had come out in favor of the item on his blog just a few days earlier citing he had “real doubt about making it illegal while we allow alcohol and tacacco (sic) to be used freely. We have to draw a line somewhere but I am not sure that the current line can be justified.”

Nevertheless with the three Democrats on the board voting in favor of it–Yamada, McGowan, and Thomson–Yolo County has achieved Yamada’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek goal of “not letting Los Angeles get ahead of us on this issue.”

On a more serious note, this is something that can help a lot of people who are dying and in a great deal of pain live out their last days in a greater measure of comfort and human dignity than the current system allots them. It seems amazing in this day and age that we have draconian notions of law enforcement and antiquated fears of abuse stand in the way of sick people and relief. It is a shame that our law enforcement community was not more supportive of this endeavor that would seem to make their job easier rather than more difficult.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Share:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

48 thoughts on “Board of Supervisors Approves of Medical Marijuana ID Cards by 3-2 Vote”

  1. Anonymous

    Makes things easier?????

    “The U.S. Supreme Court he argued, made it clear that federal law through supremacy cause makes federal law binding in the states.”

    You wrote it yourself and Resieg said it very clearly. A police officer cannot knowlingly violate state or federal law. Federal law trumps state law. End of story.

    You will still be arrested and your narcotics confiscated whether you have a card or not.

    If you want to make a real difference tell your local congressman to get congress off their keisters and make an exception for medical marijuana.

    No one wants to see people go to jail that have a legitimate medical need for marijuana but as long as it is against federal law that is what will happen.

  2. Anonymous

    Makes things easier?????

    “The U.S. Supreme Court he argued, made it clear that federal law through supremacy cause makes federal law binding in the states.”

    You wrote it yourself and Resieg said it very clearly. A police officer cannot knowlingly violate state or federal law. Federal law trumps state law. End of story.

    You will still be arrested and your narcotics confiscated whether you have a card or not.

    If you want to make a real difference tell your local congressman to get congress off their keisters and make an exception for medical marijuana.

    No one wants to see people go to jail that have a legitimate medical need for marijuana but as long as it is against federal law that is what will happen.

  3. Anonymous

    Makes things easier?????

    “The U.S. Supreme Court he argued, made it clear that federal law through supremacy cause makes federal law binding in the states.”

    You wrote it yourself and Resieg said it very clearly. A police officer cannot knowlingly violate state or federal law. Federal law trumps state law. End of story.

    You will still be arrested and your narcotics confiscated whether you have a card or not.

    If you want to make a real difference tell your local congressman to get congress off their keisters and make an exception for medical marijuana.

    No one wants to see people go to jail that have a legitimate medical need for marijuana but as long as it is against federal law that is what will happen.

  4. Anonymous

    Makes things easier?????

    “The U.S. Supreme Court he argued, made it clear that federal law through supremacy cause makes federal law binding in the states.”

    You wrote it yourself and Resieg said it very clearly. A police officer cannot knowlingly violate state or federal law. Federal law trumps state law. End of story.

    You will still be arrested and your narcotics confiscated whether you have a card or not.

    If you want to make a real difference tell your local congressman to get congress off their keisters and make an exception for medical marijuana.

    No one wants to see people go to jail that have a legitimate medical need for marijuana but as long as it is against federal law that is what will happen.

  5. Davisite

    Yes.. Republicans scream States Rights when the Federal law displeases them and Federal law trumps State law when they don’t like State law. We saw that in the 2000 Supreme Court majority opinion “coup” that put Bush in office. . Rexroad is indeed inbetween a rock and hard place.. but it’s a political one and it’s called hypocricy.

  6. Davisite

    Yes.. Republicans scream States Rights when the Federal law displeases them and Federal law trumps State law when they don’t like State law. We saw that in the 2000 Supreme Court majority opinion “coup” that put Bush in office. . Rexroad is indeed inbetween a rock and hard place.. but it’s a political one and it’s called hypocricy.

  7. Davisite

    Yes.. Republicans scream States Rights when the Federal law displeases them and Federal law trumps State law when they don’t like State law. We saw that in the 2000 Supreme Court majority opinion “coup” that put Bush in office. . Rexroad is indeed inbetween a rock and hard place.. but it’s a political one and it’s called hypocricy.

  8. Davisite

    Yes.. Republicans scream States Rights when the Federal law displeases them and Federal law trumps State law when they don’t like State law. We saw that in the 2000 Supreme Court majority opinion “coup” that put Bush in office. . Rexroad is indeed inbetween a rock and hard place.. but it’s a political one and it’s called hypocricy.

  9. Anonymous

    I’m assuming everyone has noticed that, like it was foretold, Republican Rexroad has indeed voted as a Republican would. Against this, against gay rights…you get what you vote for.

  10. Anonymous

    I’m assuming everyone has noticed that, like it was foretold, Republican Rexroad has indeed voted as a Republican would. Against this, against gay rights…you get what you vote for.

  11. Anonymous

    I’m assuming everyone has noticed that, like it was foretold, Republican Rexroad has indeed voted as a Republican would. Against this, against gay rights…you get what you vote for.

  12. Anonymous

    I’m assuming everyone has noticed that, like it was foretold, Republican Rexroad has indeed voted as a Republican would. Against this, against gay rights…you get what you vote for.

  13. Rich Rifkin

    Regardless of what the District Attorney said, or the thinking of Chamberlain or Rexroad, the actions of the 3-2 majority appears to be (largely) mandated by SB 420. This is the specific language from that bill that compels the county’s action:

    (b) Every county health department, or the county’s designee, shall do all of the following:

    (1) Provide applications upon request to individuals seeking to join the identification card program.
    (2) Receive and process completed applications in accordance with Section 11362.72.

    (3) Maintain records of identification card programs.

    (4) Utilize protocols developed by the department pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d).

    (5) Issue identification cards developed by the department to approved applicants and designated primary caregivers.

    (c) The county board of supervisors may designate another health-related governmental or nongovernmental entity or organization to perform the functions described in subdivision (b), except for an entity or organization that cultivates or distributes marijuana.

    (d) The department shall develop all of the following:

    (1) Protocols that shall be used by a county health department or the county’s designee to implement the responsibilities described in subdivision (b), including, but not limited to, protocols to confirm the accuracy of information contained in an application and to protect the confidentiality of program records.
    (2) Application forms that shall be issued to requesting applicants.

    (3) An identification card that identifies a person authorized to engage in the medical use of marijuana and an identification card that identifies the person’s designated primary caregiver, if any. The two identification cards developed pursuant to this paragraph shall be easily distinguishable from each other.

    (e) No person or designated primary caregiver in possession of a valid identification card shall be subject to arrest for possession, transportation, delivery, or cultivation of medical marijuana in an amount established pursuant to this article, unless there is reasonable cause to believe that the information contained in the card is false or falsified, the card has been obtained by means of fraud, or the person is otherwise in violation of the provisions of this article.

    (f) It shall not be necessary for a person to obtain an identification card in order to claim the protections of Section 11362.5.

  14. Rich Rifkin

    Regardless of what the District Attorney said, or the thinking of Chamberlain or Rexroad, the actions of the 3-2 majority appears to be (largely) mandated by SB 420. This is the specific language from that bill that compels the county’s action:

    (b) Every county health department, or the county’s designee, shall do all of the following:

    (1) Provide applications upon request to individuals seeking to join the identification card program.
    (2) Receive and process completed applications in accordance with Section 11362.72.

    (3) Maintain records of identification card programs.

    (4) Utilize protocols developed by the department pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d).

    (5) Issue identification cards developed by the department to approved applicants and designated primary caregivers.

    (c) The county board of supervisors may designate another health-related governmental or nongovernmental entity or organization to perform the functions described in subdivision (b), except for an entity or organization that cultivates or distributes marijuana.

    (d) The department shall develop all of the following:

    (1) Protocols that shall be used by a county health department or the county’s designee to implement the responsibilities described in subdivision (b), including, but not limited to, protocols to confirm the accuracy of information contained in an application and to protect the confidentiality of program records.
    (2) Application forms that shall be issued to requesting applicants.

    (3) An identification card that identifies a person authorized to engage in the medical use of marijuana and an identification card that identifies the person’s designated primary caregiver, if any. The two identification cards developed pursuant to this paragraph shall be easily distinguishable from each other.

    (e) No person or designated primary caregiver in possession of a valid identification card shall be subject to arrest for possession, transportation, delivery, or cultivation of medical marijuana in an amount established pursuant to this article, unless there is reasonable cause to believe that the information contained in the card is false or falsified, the card has been obtained by means of fraud, or the person is otherwise in violation of the provisions of this article.

    (f) It shall not be necessary for a person to obtain an identification card in order to claim the protections of Section 11362.5.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    Regardless of what the District Attorney said, or the thinking of Chamberlain or Rexroad, the actions of the 3-2 majority appears to be (largely) mandated by SB 420. This is the specific language from that bill that compels the county’s action:

    (b) Every county health department, or the county’s designee, shall do all of the following:

    (1) Provide applications upon request to individuals seeking to join the identification card program.
    (2) Receive and process completed applications in accordance with Section 11362.72.

    (3) Maintain records of identification card programs.

    (4) Utilize protocols developed by the department pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d).

    (5) Issue identification cards developed by the department to approved applicants and designated primary caregivers.

    (c) The county board of supervisors may designate another health-related governmental or nongovernmental entity or organization to perform the functions described in subdivision (b), except for an entity or organization that cultivates or distributes marijuana.

    (d) The department shall develop all of the following:

    (1) Protocols that shall be used by a county health department or the county’s designee to implement the responsibilities described in subdivision (b), including, but not limited to, protocols to confirm the accuracy of information contained in an application and to protect the confidentiality of program records.
    (2) Application forms that shall be issued to requesting applicants.

    (3) An identification card that identifies a person authorized to engage in the medical use of marijuana and an identification card that identifies the person’s designated primary caregiver, if any. The two identification cards developed pursuant to this paragraph shall be easily distinguishable from each other.

    (e) No person or designated primary caregiver in possession of a valid identification card shall be subject to arrest for possession, transportation, delivery, or cultivation of medical marijuana in an amount established pursuant to this article, unless there is reasonable cause to believe that the information contained in the card is false or falsified, the card has been obtained by means of fraud, or the person is otherwise in violation of the provisions of this article.

    (f) It shall not be necessary for a person to obtain an identification card in order to claim the protections of Section 11362.5.

  16. Rich Rifkin

    Regardless of what the District Attorney said, or the thinking of Chamberlain or Rexroad, the actions of the 3-2 majority appears to be (largely) mandated by SB 420. This is the specific language from that bill that compels the county’s action:

    (b) Every county health department, or the county’s designee, shall do all of the following:

    (1) Provide applications upon request to individuals seeking to join the identification card program.
    (2) Receive and process completed applications in accordance with Section 11362.72.

    (3) Maintain records of identification card programs.

    (4) Utilize protocols developed by the department pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d).

    (5) Issue identification cards developed by the department to approved applicants and designated primary caregivers.

    (c) The county board of supervisors may designate another health-related governmental or nongovernmental entity or organization to perform the functions described in subdivision (b), except for an entity or organization that cultivates or distributes marijuana.

    (d) The department shall develop all of the following:

    (1) Protocols that shall be used by a county health department or the county’s designee to implement the responsibilities described in subdivision (b), including, but not limited to, protocols to confirm the accuracy of information contained in an application and to protect the confidentiality of program records.
    (2) Application forms that shall be issued to requesting applicants.

    (3) An identification card that identifies a person authorized to engage in the medical use of marijuana and an identification card that identifies the person’s designated primary caregiver, if any. The two identification cards developed pursuant to this paragraph shall be easily distinguishable from each other.

    (e) No person or designated primary caregiver in possession of a valid identification card shall be subject to arrest for possession, transportation, delivery, or cultivation of medical marijuana in an amount established pursuant to this article, unless there is reasonable cause to believe that the information contained in the card is false or falsified, the card has been obtained by means of fraud, or the person is otherwise in violation of the provisions of this article.

    (f) It shall not be necessary for a person to obtain an identification card in order to claim the protections of Section 11362.5.

  17. Anonymous

    A rock and a hard place is where all of us are on many issues. One just has to weigh the benefits and the harm to see what is right. Someone who is prescribed marijuana to ease suffering and extend life should be able to use it, just like any other appropriate use of a drug.

    It would be different for, say, someone who was stoned out of their mind and…driving. Then the public safety issue would be more of a concern.

    I would like to believe that our police officers are capable of good judgement on this.

  18. Anonymous

    A rock and a hard place is where all of us are on many issues. One just has to weigh the benefits and the harm to see what is right. Someone who is prescribed marijuana to ease suffering and extend life should be able to use it, just like any other appropriate use of a drug.

    It would be different for, say, someone who was stoned out of their mind and…driving. Then the public safety issue would be more of a concern.

    I would like to believe that our police officers are capable of good judgement on this.

  19. Anonymous

    A rock and a hard place is where all of us are on many issues. One just has to weigh the benefits and the harm to see what is right. Someone who is prescribed marijuana to ease suffering and extend life should be able to use it, just like any other appropriate use of a drug.

    It would be different for, say, someone who was stoned out of their mind and…driving. Then the public safety issue would be more of a concern.

    I would like to believe that our police officers are capable of good judgement on this.

  20. Anonymous

    A rock and a hard place is where all of us are on many issues. One just has to weigh the benefits and the harm to see what is right. Someone who is prescribed marijuana to ease suffering and extend life should be able to use it, just like any other appropriate use of a drug.

    It would be different for, say, someone who was stoned out of their mind and…driving. Then the public safety issue would be more of a concern.

    I would like to believe that our police officers are capable of good judgement on this.

  21. 無名 - wu ming

    the feds aren’t paying prieto and reisig’s salaries. if they can’t bring themselves to enforce state law, as passed by a 10% margin by the voters of california (and by yolo county voters with 58%), then perhaps they should resign and apply to work for the feds.

  22. 無名 - wu ming

    the feds aren’t paying prieto and reisig’s salaries. if they can’t bring themselves to enforce state law, as passed by a 10% margin by the voters of california (and by yolo county voters with 58%), then perhaps they should resign and apply to work for the feds.

  23. 無名 - wu ming

    the feds aren’t paying prieto and reisig’s salaries. if they can’t bring themselves to enforce state law, as passed by a 10% margin by the voters of california (and by yolo county voters with 58%), then perhaps they should resign and apply to work for the feds.

  24. 無名 - wu ming

    the feds aren’t paying prieto and reisig’s salaries. if they can’t bring themselves to enforce state law, as passed by a 10% margin by the voters of california (and by yolo county voters with 58%), then perhaps they should resign and apply to work for the feds.

  25. Anonymous

    Federal law may be binding, but cops and DA’s actually have the discretion to charge a person or not to charge. Not that I’d expect the DA or Sherrif in Yolo County to exercise discretion.

    Besides, the issue at the BOS meeting was whether the county should comply with state law and issue the ID cards. The issue was not whether the cops will still arrest someone for that half a joint in their pocket. And most definitely not about whether the DA will file charges for that half a joint and take it to trial to show how “tough on crime” they are in this county.

    By the way, somebody ought to study the legal and medical definitions of narcotics (anonymous first poster)– you might learn that good ol’ Maryjane is not exactly defined as a narcotic.

    “No one wants to see people go to jail that have a legitimate medical need for marijuana but as long as it is agaist federal law that is what will happen”???? Only in YoYo County. Only in YoYo County.

    -The Observer

  26. Anonymous

    Federal law may be binding, but cops and DA’s actually have the discretion to charge a person or not to charge. Not that I’d expect the DA or Sherrif in Yolo County to exercise discretion.

    Besides, the issue at the BOS meeting was whether the county should comply with state law and issue the ID cards. The issue was not whether the cops will still arrest someone for that half a joint in their pocket. And most definitely not about whether the DA will file charges for that half a joint and take it to trial to show how “tough on crime” they are in this county.

    By the way, somebody ought to study the legal and medical definitions of narcotics (anonymous first poster)– you might learn that good ol’ Maryjane is not exactly defined as a narcotic.

    “No one wants to see people go to jail that have a legitimate medical need for marijuana but as long as it is agaist federal law that is what will happen”???? Only in YoYo County. Only in YoYo County.

    -The Observer

  27. Anonymous

    Federal law may be binding, but cops and DA’s actually have the discretion to charge a person or not to charge. Not that I’d expect the DA or Sherrif in Yolo County to exercise discretion.

    Besides, the issue at the BOS meeting was whether the county should comply with state law and issue the ID cards. The issue was not whether the cops will still arrest someone for that half a joint in their pocket. And most definitely not about whether the DA will file charges for that half a joint and take it to trial to show how “tough on crime” they are in this county.

    By the way, somebody ought to study the legal and medical definitions of narcotics (anonymous first poster)– you might learn that good ol’ Maryjane is not exactly defined as a narcotic.

    “No one wants to see people go to jail that have a legitimate medical need for marijuana but as long as it is agaist federal law that is what will happen”???? Only in YoYo County. Only in YoYo County.

    -The Observer

  28. Anonymous

    Federal law may be binding, but cops and DA’s actually have the discretion to charge a person or not to charge. Not that I’d expect the DA or Sherrif in Yolo County to exercise discretion.

    Besides, the issue at the BOS meeting was whether the county should comply with state law and issue the ID cards. The issue was not whether the cops will still arrest someone for that half a joint in their pocket. And most definitely not about whether the DA will file charges for that half a joint and take it to trial to show how “tough on crime” they are in this county.

    By the way, somebody ought to study the legal and medical definitions of narcotics (anonymous first poster)– you might learn that good ol’ Maryjane is not exactly defined as a narcotic.

    “No one wants to see people go to jail that have a legitimate medical need for marijuana but as long as it is agaist federal law that is what will happen”???? Only in YoYo County. Only in YoYo County.

    -The Observer

  29. Anonymous

    People, you just do not get it. There are people showing legitimate medical marijuana cards to law enforcement in Yolo County already.

    Guess what happens to them and their marijuana?

    People with a Yolo County card will be treated no differently.

    Talk to your federal rep. and get the federal law changed. Everyone will be happy then.

  30. Anonymous

    People, you just do not get it. There are people showing legitimate medical marijuana cards to law enforcement in Yolo County already.

    Guess what happens to them and their marijuana?

    People with a Yolo County card will be treated no differently.

    Talk to your federal rep. and get the federal law changed. Everyone will be happy then.

  31. Anonymous

    People, you just do not get it. There are people showing legitimate medical marijuana cards to law enforcement in Yolo County already.

    Guess what happens to them and their marijuana?

    People with a Yolo County card will be treated no differently.

    Talk to your federal rep. and get the federal law changed. Everyone will be happy then.

  32. Anonymous

    People, you just do not get it. There are people showing legitimate medical marijuana cards to law enforcement in Yolo County already.

    Guess what happens to them and their marijuana?

    People with a Yolo County card will be treated no differently.

    Talk to your federal rep. and get the federal law changed. Everyone will be happy then.

  33. Anonymous

    (f) It shall not be necessary for a person to obtain an identification card in order to claim the protections of Section 11362.5.

    as a medical user of marijuana, for depression and ADD, and as a resident of Yolo county, I have no intention of procuring a card.

    ,
    fuck fascist laws.
    fucks genocidal wars for empire.
    smoke to stay sane.

    can’t fool the red eye. and I.
    stay smarter than the police.
    know your rights.

  34. Anonymous

    (f) It shall not be necessary for a person to obtain an identification card in order to claim the protections of Section 11362.5.

    as a medical user of marijuana, for depression and ADD, and as a resident of Yolo county, I have no intention of procuring a card.

    ,
    fuck fascist laws.
    fucks genocidal wars for empire.
    smoke to stay sane.

    can’t fool the red eye. and I.
    stay smarter than the police.
    know your rights.

  35. Anonymous

    (f) It shall not be necessary for a person to obtain an identification card in order to claim the protections of Section 11362.5.

    as a medical user of marijuana, for depression and ADD, and as a resident of Yolo county, I have no intention of procuring a card.

    ,
    fuck fascist laws.
    fucks genocidal wars for empire.
    smoke to stay sane.

    can’t fool the red eye. and I.
    stay smarter than the police.
    know your rights.

  36. Anonymous

    (f) It shall not be necessary for a person to obtain an identification card in order to claim the protections of Section 11362.5.

    as a medical user of marijuana, for depression and ADD, and as a resident of Yolo county, I have no intention of procuring a card.

    ,
    fuck fascist laws.
    fucks genocidal wars for empire.
    smoke to stay sane.

    can’t fool the red eye. and I.
    stay smarter than the police.
    know your rights.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for