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    Schwarzenegger Vetoes Medical Marijuana Changes

    (July 23, 2004, update w/ local react) -- CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have eased rules on how much medical marijuana patients could possess in California. Details, see: Reuters: Schwarzenegger vetoes medical marijuana changes.

    The bill passed the Assembly on July 1 with the bare minimum 41 votes required, with support from LB area Assemblymembers Alan Lowenthal and Jenny Oropeza. The measure likewise passed the State Senate on March 30 with the bare minimum 21 votes required, with support from LB area State Senator Betty Karnette.

    As previously reported by, LBPD has implemented a new, interim policy, (directed by a June vote of the LB City Council, 8-0) that will no longer trigger automatic arrests of people using medical marijuana.

    We post Governor Schwarzenegger's veto message of the state legislation below:

    [update] Reached for comment by, Diana Lejins, Director of the LB-based Advocates for Disability Rights, said she was "disappointed, to say the least" and added, "I think the Governor got some bad advice and just didn't understand what this was about."

    To the Members of the California State Senate:

    I am returning SB 1494 without my signature.

    This bill reverses an agreement that led to the passage of SB 420 (Vasconcellos) in 2003.

    That statute established quantity guidelines which gave patients and law enforcement clarity in the law with respect to possession of medicinal marijuana under Proposition 215. Reasonable and established quantity guidelines allow medicinal marijuana patients to seek relief from symptoms free from legal questions and permit law enforcement to carry out the law.

    Senate Bill 1494 removes the limitation on the amount of marijuana a qualified patient, person with an identification card, or primary caregiver can possess. Since the passage of Proposition 215, local governments have grappled with the interpretation of the votersí intent with respect to how much marijuana a patient may possess for medical use. Senate Bill 420 resolved this issue.

    Enactment of this bill would create uncertainty in this area of the law thereby making it more difficult for law enforcement to determine when a person was in possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes pursuant to Proposition 215.

    For these reasons, I am unable to sign this measure.


    Arnold Schwarzenegger

    The full text of the legislation vetoed by the Governor can be viewed by clicking SB 1494

    A State Senate analysis of the measure can be viewed at: State Senate analysis SB 1494.

    Your comments? Click and send to:

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