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Court Orders Garden Grove Police To Return Seized Pot

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420 Staff
SANTA ANA - The Garden Grove Police Department must return seized marijuana to a medical marijuana patient, a state appeals court ruled today, setting a precedent for police agencies statewide to refrain from such seizures.

A three-justice panel from the state's Fourth Appellate District ruled that police must give back eight grams of the drug from Felix Kha of Garden Grove in June 2005 during a traffic stop.

Criminal charges were later dismissed after Kha proved he had a prescription for the drug which he uses for back pain. Kha asked for the pot back, and a judge agreed.

But the city of Garden Grove appealed, saying it did not want to break federal law. While medical marijuana is legal in California, it is illegal under federal law.

But in the published ruling, the justices said state law comes first.

"By returning Kha's marijuana to him, the Garden Grove police would not just be upholding the principles of federalism ... They would be fulfilling their more traditional duty to administer the laws of this state," according to the 41-page ruling.

"We do not believe that federal drug laws supersede or preempt Kha's right to a return of his property," they later continued.

Felix Kha, 22, said he was glad Garden Grove lost its appeal.

"I'm happy, it's taken a long time," he said. "The ruling can help someone else that is in really bad need of access their medicine."

The case was being watched closely by medical marijuana advocates, who say there have been dozens of such seizures by local law enforcement throughout California. Law enforcement do not know when to follow state or federal law, and end up taking the medical marijuana away from legitimate patients, they say.

It's also an affirmation of state law by the courts. Patients will now have a remedy to get back their marijuana when it is illegally seized," said Kris Hermes, a spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, a pro-medical marijuana group that represented Kha. "And hopefully, these seizures will stop."

Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2007 The Orange County Register
Contact: letters@ocregister.com
Website: The Orange County Register
 

sano420

New Member
SANTA ANA - The Garden Grove Police Department must return seized marijuana to a medical marijuana patient, a state appeals court ruled today, setting a precedent for police agencies statewide to refrain from such seizures.

A three-justice panel from the state's Fourth Appellate District ruled that police must give back eight grams of the drug from Felix Kha of Garden Grove in June 2005 during a traffic stop.

Criminal charges were later dismissed after Kha proved he had a prescription for the drug which he uses for back pain. Kha asked for the pot back, and a judge agreed.

But the city of Garden Grove appealed, saying it did not want to break federal law. While medical marijuana is legal in California, it is illegal under federal law.

But in the published ruling, the justices said state law comes first.

"By returning Kha's marijuana to him, the Garden Grove police would not just be upholding the principles of federalism ... They would be fulfilling their more traditional duty to administer the laws of this state," according to the 41-page ruling.

"We do not believe that federal drug laws supersede or preempt Kha's right to a return of his property," they later continued.

Felix Kha, 22, said he was glad Garden Grove lost its appeal.

"I'm happy, it's taken a long time," he said. "The ruling can help someone else that is in really bad need of access their medicine."

The case was being watched closely by medical marijuana advocates, who say there have been dozens of such seizures by local law enforcement throughout California. Law enforcement do not know when to follow state or federal law, and end up taking the medical marijuana away from legitimate patients, they say.

It's also an affirmation of state law by the courts. Patients will now have a remedy to get back their marijuana when it is illegally seized," said Kris Hermes, a spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, a pro-medical marijuana group that represented Kha. "And hopefully, these seizures will stop."

Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2007 The Orange County Register
Contact: letters@ocregister.com
Website: The Orange County Register

:adore::bong::19:[FONT="Book
Antiqua"]:cool027:[/FONT]

This is a precedent that bodes well for Calif., for so many years you would only see the unjust greedy side of Ca. law
I've known all these years that there was a good and just side to the citizens and the law that swore to protect their rights.
Please don't rest so that the whole country sees and abolishes this costly and perverted tactic of prohibition.
:bong:soni420:bong:
 
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