California Highway Patrol no longer seizing medical marijuana

| 8/30/2005

The use of medical marijuana struck a major victory in California when Highway Patrol officials implemented a new policy that prohibits officers from seizing the substance from legal users.

Under the new CHP policy, an “individual is to be released and the marijuana is not to be seized,” so long as the person is legally allowed in the state to carry the medical marijuana, the New York Times, reported.

Since 1996, California residents have been able to have in their possession up to eight ounces of medical marijuana. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year said individuals in possession of medical marijuana were still subject to federal prosecution. However, the ruling did not apply to California and 11 other states that allow very limited uses of marijuana as medicine, the Times said.

“This is a huge victory for the medical marijuana movement,” Kris Hermes, legal campaign director of Americans for Safe Access, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Despite the ability for medicinal users to carry the marijuana, Joe Whiteford, a spokesperson for CHP, told the Times that officers would still be keeping a close watch for illegal usage and driving under the influence of marijuana.