California has halted a fledgling program that issues identification cards to medical marijuana users, the Sacramento Bee reports. The cards are supposed to help medical pot users avoid arrest after their doctors have prescribed marijuana for pain relief, which is legal in the state. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that federal authorities can ignore state medical marijuana statutes and enforce federal drug laws against people who use pot to ease pain. The state has issued only 123 of the identification cards in three counties.
Ken August, a spokesman for the state Department of Health Services, said the suspension of the card program does not affect medical marijuana users’ ability to get a prescription for the drug from their physicians. August said the department is concerned that issuing the cards could cause legal problems for staff and for card holders. He said the court decision could embolden federal agents to go after card carriers. California is one of 10 states with protections for medical marijuana use.