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Name: People v. Harris
Case #: A111860
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/21/2006

Penal Code section 4573.5, prohibiting the bringing into penal institutions of drugs other than controlled substances, does not apply to medical marijuana. Pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 11054, marijuana is a controlled substance. Penal Code section 4573 prohibits bringing into penal institutions “controlled substances.” Here, the prosecution charged appellant with section 4573.5 and at court trial, the court found him guilty of bringing his medical marijuana to jail with him when he surrendered to serve a sentence. The People attempted to overcome the charging error by arguing that the ambit of 4573.5 included medical marijuana but, applying the rules of statutory construction, the court found that the plain language of section 4573.5 made it clear that medical marijuana was not included in section 4573.5.