Appellate Court 'Landmark' Medical Marijuana Cases

PATIENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO A HEARING TO DISMISS BEFORE TRIAL: PEOPLE V. MOWER (2002) [28 Cal. 4th 4571. When defendants establish that they are qualified patients, the case should be dismissed before going to trial.

DOCTOR’S ORAL RECOMMENDATION & PATIENT’S TESTIMONY ALONE IS ENOUGH: PEOPLE V. JONES (2003) [112 Cal App. 4th 3411–Patient’s testimony of oral approval from a doctor is sufficient to raise a reasonable doubt.

THE JUDGE CAN DISMISS PATIENT’S CASE IN THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE: PEOPLE V. KONOW (2004) [32 Cal. 4th 9951 establishes that a defendant may “informally suggest ” that the court dismiss the complaint “in the interests of justice,” upon properly submitting a doctor’s recommendation.

TRANSPORTATION : PEOPLE V. TRIPPET (1997) [58 Cal. App. 4th 15321–The “quantity possessed by the patient or the primary caregiver, and the form and manner in which it is possessed, should be reasonably related to the patient’s current medical needs,” including transport.

Also see PEOPLE V. WRIGHT (2006) 40 Cal. App. 4th 81. Under SB 420, transportation is okay for personal medical use.

THE REASON FOR A DOCTOR’S RECOMMENDATION IS NONE OF THE COURT’S BUSINESS:PEOPLE V. SPARK (2004) [121 Cal. App. 4th 2591 “The compassionate use defense (section 11362.5) does not require a defendant to present evidence that he or she was ‘seriously ill’. . . the question of whether the medical use of marijuana is appropriate for a patient’s illness is a determination to be made by a physician.. . not to be second-guessed by jurors who might not deem the patient’s condition to be sufficiently ‘serious.’ ”

DOCTOR’S RECOMMENDATION MUST BE MADE BEFORE THE BUST: PEOPLE V. RIG0 (1999) [69 Cal. App. 4th 4091 – A doctor’s approval obtained post-arrest is not a defense.

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