Live Oak, California has banned the cultivation and dispersion of medical marijuana via the Court system, for now. With the nearest functioning dispensary two hours away, patients like plaintiff James Maral are now waiting for redemption in the dry dust of lingering prohibition.

Maral is living with compartment syndrome, which is life threatening, as well as six damaged discs in his back. His mother Donneda Maral, for whom he is caretaker, has severe diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, and requires frequent trips to the hospital. Not being able to grow their own medicine leaves them with few legal options to obtain and use medicinal marijuana.

In the Discussion section of James Maral et al. v. City of Live Oak, Judge Hoch found that the plaintiffs (Maral et al.) “have failed to make proper arguments,” and thus declined to address the matter, leaving the judgment affirmed and the City to recover costs on appeal. The City cited Inland Empire in their defence, stating, “there is no right -- and certainly no constitutional right -- to cultivate medical marijuana.” Attorney Joe Elford of San Francisco is drafting the petition to challenge. “This decision conflicts with the intent of the electorate and Legislature and should not be allowed to stand,” said Elford.

In a press release issued by CalNORML director Dale Gieringer, Gieringer stated that, “The right of patients to grow their own medicine is fundamental to Prop. 215’s stated purpose of ensuring that ‘seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes.’ The city of Live Oak has no legitimate business prohibiting Mr. Maral from growing the medicine he needs at his own private residence.”

The current (non)judgment sets a dangerous precedent, but Elford is on the case, and a solid case it is. The People have already spoken through Prop. 215 and SB420. Though California’s medical marijuana market still has the flavor of the wild west, the white hats have proven time and again to be on the green side of the corral, and our rights slinging attorneys continue to fight the good fight to their victorious ends.