California's medical marijuana possession limits are dropped

The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state cannot impose legal limits on the amount of pot that medical marijuana users can grow or possess.

In a ruling certain to exacerbate debate over the governance of medical marijuana in California, the court threw out legislation that limited medical pot users to 8 ounces of dried marijuana and six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants.

The court ruled that the Legislature violated the state constitution when it passed Senate Bill 420 in 2003. The judges found that the plant limits set by the legislation improperly amended the Compassionate Use Act voters passed in 1996 legalizing marijuana for medical use in California.

That ballot measure said that medical pot users and their caregivers can possess any amount of marijuana "reasonably related to the patient's current medical needs."

"These individuals are not subject to any specific limits and do not require a physician's recommendation in order to exceed any such limits," Chief Justice Ron George wrote in the unanimous court decision. "Instead they may possess an amount of medical marijuana reasonably necessary for their ... needs."

The decision means that voters — not the Legislature — would have to approve any statewide limits on medical marijuana possession for those limits to be valid

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