California Highway Patrol officers can no longer confiscate medical marijuana from legitimate patients, a new official policy mandates.
The CHP hopes that with the new policy, confusion over the rights of legal marijuana smokers on state highways will end.
Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state marijuana laws did not protect doctors or patients from federal prosecution. However, the ruling did not affect current state laws, and did not allow police to confiscate or arrest those with pot legally dispensed by a doctor, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Patients and marijuana advocates cheered the CHP's decision as a victory for individual rights, Science Daily reports.
"This is going to send a very clear message: The constitutionality of patients needs to be protected," said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access. "Our hope is this will ripple around the state."
Sherer's group had sued the CHP seeking the policy change.