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OfflineSpaceMonkey
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Fontana Man Gets Pot Back After Unjust Bust
    #416460 - 05/12/10 04:48 PM (6 years, 6 months ago)

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Jason Monroe on Monday night walked out of the San Bernardino County sheriff’s station in Rancho Cucamonga with seven ounces of medical marijuana secured safely in a brown evidence bag.

Monroe is the first person in San Bernardino County to get marijuana returned to him after it was confiscated by police.

“Here, let it be told, in San Bernardino County, things have changed and it’s legal now,” said Monroe, who has been a medical marijuana recipient for the past three years.

The county, along with San Diego County, had been fighting the state law requiring counties to issue medical marijuana identification cards to patients.

When the U.S.  Supreme Court declined to hear their case in May, the counties had no choice but to adhere to state law.

Monroe was pulled over in November by sheriff’s officers in Rancho Cucamonga.  They searched his car and confiscated $430 cash and the marijuana, which Monroe uses to combat chronic back pain resulting from a off-road motorcycle accident.

With the help of a public defender, Monroe’s case was dismissed.

“I had literally three years of medical marijuana prescriptions.  .  .  I had all my medical records to present to ( the court ) – everything I needed to legally show that I was in legal possession of my marijuana, and they dismissed my case,” Monroe said.

A judge ruled at a later hearing for the police to return Monroe’s money and marijuana.

“Hey, I don’t want this problem,” Monroe said.  “I know in this there wasn’t anything that counted on my permanent record.  I wasn’t on probation for it, but I still don’t want to have problems.  I’m trying to be compliant with the law.  I’m trying to legally possess this.”

The state adopted the I.D.  Card program in 2004 as part of the Medical Marijuana Program Act.  The cards are meant to protect patients by helping law enforcement officers discern protected medical marijuana from illegal recreational use.

The county is working to implement a medical marijuana card program for residents.

“We’re in the process of training our deputies on the guidelines on medical marijuana and about the laws and so the board of supervisors in San Bernardino County are still in the process of discussing guidelines for the medical marijuana I.D.  Cards,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Arden Wiltshire.

The medical marijuana card program ordinance will have a second reading Tuesday, but applications and appointments for those applying for medical marijuana cards is expected to begin Aug.  14, said Jim Lindley, director of public health for the county.

Whether dispensaries are opened in the county depends on the different jurisdictions within the county, he said.

Source: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA)
Copyright: 2009 Los Angeles Newspaper Group
Contact: letters@inlandnewspapers.com
Website: http://www.dailybulletin.com/
Author: Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer


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