Today's decision by the high court not to hear San Diego's appeal means that on June 16, officials will recommend to the Board of Supervisors that the county issue medical marijuana ID cards as required by state law, said Senior Deputy Counsel Counsel Thomas Bunton.
Thirteen states -- including California -- have laws that allow certain seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana if their doctor recommends it.
"The Supreme Court and the lower court inCalifornia have blown away the myth that federal law somehow prevents states from legalizing medical marijuana," said Rob Kampia, executive director for the Marijuana Policy Project. "Opponents can no longer hide behind federal law in order to excuse their war on medical marijuana patients."
San Diego, Merced and San Bernardino counties sued the state in February 2006, claiming federal laws banning marijuana use and possession supercedes Proposition 215, a state measure approved by voters in 1996 that allows pot dispensaries to sell the drug to people who have a doctor's prescription.
The counties' challenge was rejected by the San Diego Superior Court in 2006, and that court's decision was upheld last July by the 4th District Court of Appeal.
Last October, the California Supreme Court declined to review the appellate court's decision and the case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The lower and appellate courts found that the state's program for issuing ID cards to medical marijuana users is valid and does not violate the state constitution.