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.