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Police postpone purging Parson’s pot 

San Luis Obispo County Judge Michael Duffy declined a motion on July 11 asking the Grover Beach Police Department to return 20.4 grams of medical marijuana to patient Kenneth Parson, recently acquitted of a possession charge.
The decision brought one of two important cases currently on the county docket regarding the return of medically tagged cannabis to a crossroad. The second will reappear in court Aug. 9 when patient Ben Breschini plans to challenge San Luis Obispo police to return his 45.7 grams of marijuana on a similar motion.
Parson and his San Luis Obispo-based attorney, Lou Koory, will ponder whether to appeal the ruling during a 30-day injunction, also ordered by Duffy, on destruction of the property.
Police seized the marijuana—illegally, Parson asserted—during a routine traffic stop and later charged the Arroyo Grande man with misdemeanor possession. Parson pled not-guilty and the district attorney eventually dropped the charge on a medical defense.
Parson said he possessed a valid doctor’s recommendation required under the Compassionate Use Act, but Grover Beach city attorney Martin D. Koczanowicz and deputy DA Mja Thiesmeyer claimed he wasn’t carrying that paperwork when police pulled him over. Parson maintained he held the documentation, though Koory argued that the 1996 act and subsequent Senate Bill 420 include no statutory requirement for the patient to carry proof for law enforcement’s review.
After the possession charge sputtered out, Grover Beach police still refused to return Parson’s property, stating that doing so would pan out to illegal distribution under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
The principle disagreement between Koory and Grover Beach council rested on whether medically earmarked marijuana seized by the police sill constitutes illegal contraband. In essence, it depends whether the courts abide by the federal or state code.
“State courts aren’t in the business of enforcing federal law,� Koory retorted, referring to a more-than-century-old line in the California Constitution and a 2005 medical marijuana memo to California law enforcement by Attorney General Bill Lockyer.
Grover Beach also questioned the date of the doctor’s recommendation, implying that the patient might have acquired it after the seizure.

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