California's capital county finally decides to obey California's law

Dec 18, 2008

California, ID cards, sacramento

Medical marijuana patients living in California’s capital will finally be able to realize the full benefit of the state’s medical marijuana law.

This week, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution making the state-mandated medical marijuana ID card program available to county residents. The cards keep patients who are already allowed to possess marijuana under the state’s 12-year-old Compassionate Use Act from being wrongfully arrested by state and local law enforcement.

You might think that implementing a state mandate in the capital county of that state wouldn't be controversial. However, it wasn’t so simple. The issue was brought to the board back in March but supervisors voted 3-2 against issuing the cards, based mainly on the untruthful testimony of Sheriff John McGinness, who seems to get all of his information about marijuana from Reefer Madness-era propaganda.

After the state Supreme Court unanimously upheld the law requiring counties to issue the cards and the item was back on the board's agenda, Sacramento County’s top attorney warned the board that if they refuse to implement the ID card program, the county could not win any lawsuit stemming from that decision. Even Sheriff McGinness eventually conceded that the county should follow state law.

So, the debate’s finally over and we can all go home ... right? Not quite. 

Sacramento supervisor and reactionary ideologue Roberta MacGlashan, who responded to testimony from the elderly and ill with a scowl, voted against implementation and said she would never support the program until a court forced her to. So while legislators in the state capitol were dealing with what may well be the worst budget crisis in the California history just a few blocks away, a local politician advocated using public funds in an unwinable lawsuit so that police could continue arresting law-abiding citizens for just a little bit longer. This would be laughable if it weren't for the fact that people's health and safety is on the line.