Vol. 22 No. 17- Garden Grove v. Superior court (Kha) – The Next Step

Garden Grove v. Superior Court (Kha) – The Next Step.
December 19, 2007

“Kudos” to the Garden Grove City Council!  On December 11, 2007, just days after the California Court of Appeal denied the City’s writ petition, which attempted to reverse a superior court’s order to return marijuana to a subject, the City Council voted to ask the California Supreme Court to review the decision.  The Council obviously recognized the danger of allowing the Court of Appeal’s ruling to go unchallenged since, among other things, it ordered the City to engage in illegal activity – namely, transferring a controlled substance to one not authorized to posses it under federal law.

The California Court of Appeal had concluded that, despite years of court decisions to the contrary, federal law did not supercede state law, even though it was in an area where the federal government had assumed control.  The Court of Appeal noted that this created a conflict for the city, and even stated that it sympathized with the city’s position.  Nonetheless, it ordered the city to return the marijuana, setting a precedent which could have a significant impact throughout the state.

[To get more details on the Court’s decision please see Vol. 22, No. 15, dated December 3, 2007, which explains what the Court ruled, the position taken by the California Attorney General, and the position taken by a group of law enforcement associations through an amicus brief filed by Jones & Mayer on their behalf.]

Obviously, there is no guarantee that the Supreme Court will accept the case for review, nor what its decision will be, if it accepts the case.  Nor does this have any immediate effect on the Court of Appeal’s decision. Until and unless the Supreme Court accepts the case, the Court of Appeal’s ruling is currently the law in California .  However, this is a major step in an attempt to correct a significant conflict in the law.

It is most important to remember that the City of Garden Grove is not challenging the constitutionality of California ‘s medical marijuana law.  It is only challenging the legality of the state court’s order that a law enforcement officer must engage in conduct which is a felony under the federal laws.  The city deserves our praise and our support.

As always, should you have any questions regarding this matter, please feel free to contact me at (714) 446 -1400 or by e-mail at mjm@jones-mayer.com.