The opinion of the court was delivered by: Frank C. Damrell, Jr. United States District Judge
This matter is before the court on the Probation Officer's 12C Petition (the "Petition"), charging that defendant has failed to comply with Special Condition No. 5, requiring him to "register, as required in the jurisdiction in which he resides, as a drug offender" (Docket #101).
Although not expressly stated in the Amended Judgment, the registration requirement is derived solely from Section 11590 of the California Health and Safety Code.
Defendant responded to the charge for failure to register by conceding that he did not register but argued that he was not required to do so pursuant to California's Compassionate Use Act and Medical Marijuana Program ("CUA"), Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11362.5 et seq. At the parties' request, the court previously set the matter for an evidentiary hearing on October 28 and 29, 2010 to determine whether defendant's conduct, giving rise to his conviction, was permitted by the CUA, thus obviating the requirement to register. The court, after further consideration, ordered a status conference on October 21, 2010.
As set forth on the record at the status conference, it HEREBY makes the following order:
The Probation Officer shall provide a certified copy of defendant's judgment of conviction to the appropriate law enforcement officials in the California county in which defendant resides, and the Probation Officer shall also inform such authorities that defendant has not registered as a drug offender under Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11590.
Defendant was convicted of manufacturing marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841 (a)(1) for which the CUA is not a defense. Defendant is now charged with failure to register in violation of Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11590, for which the CUA may provide a defense despite the underlying federal conviction.*fn1
As a matter of comity and conservation of judicial resources, the court finds the appropriate forum for such adjudication is the State Court.
In light of the court's order, the Probation Officer has advised the court that the Petition is withdrawn. The evidentiary hearing set for October 28 and 29, 2010 is VACATED.