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California Briefing / Sacramento

DMV won't target users of medical marijuana

March 05, 2009|Maura Dolan

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has told its employees that medical marijuana should be treated like any other prescription drug and its use alone does not justify yanking a driver's license.

"Drivers will no longer have their licenses suspended or revoked simply because of their status as medical marijuana patients," said Joe Alford, chief counsel of Americans for Safe Access, which assists medical marijuana users.

A spokesman for the DMV said it never had a policy to remove licenses from medical marijuana patients and made the change to an employee training manual as part of an update. The change came after Safe Access filed a lawsuit on behalf of a medical marijuana patient whose license the DMV revoked.

Alford said the DMV has now restored her license.

That driver was one of a few medical marijuana patients whose licenses were suspended or put at risk because of their drug use, Alford said.

The DMV spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit.

-- Maura Dolan

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