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Medical Marijuana Groups Sues CHP, Schwarzengger

The group Americans for Safe Access has filed a lawsuit against the Governor and the California Highway Patrol for allegedly confiscating marijuana from people with a Doctor´s permission.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of medical marijuana users and caregivers. Americans for Safe Access staff attorney Joe Elford claims the CHP has violated state law and the state constitution during the alleged seizures .

Elford claims that while medical marijuana patients have had run-ins with virtually every law enforcement agency in the state´s 58 counties, the CHP has allegedly been the most agressive regarding marijuana confiscation. CHP spokesman Kelly Huston says the agency can not comment on the lawsuit until it has a chance to digest the details of the allegations. Huston says current CHP policy allows officers on patrol the leeway to use their own judgement regarding the confiscation of medical marijuana.

One of the plaintiffs in the case is Registered Nurse Mary Jane Winters. Winters has a Doctor´s permission to use marijuana to offset pain caused by 3 herniated discs in her spine. She was stopped by a CHP Officer in Northern California on Thanksgiving Day last year. Winters claims the Officer confiscated two ounces of marijuana from her in spite of being presented with a physician´s recommendation. The lawsuit was filed in Alameda County, but its outcome is expected to impact the entire state.