California’s medical marijuana laws just received their latest legal vindication today - this time at the nation’s highest court. The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will not be hearing a case lodged by the counties of San Diego and San Bernardino aimed at gutting California’s medical marijuana law. The two counties claimed that the federal law banning all marijuana trumped the state’s medical marijuana law.

The challenge was initially filed in 2006 at the San Diego County superior court after the counties had refused to implement the state-mandated medical marijuana identification card program. The superior court judge sided with patients and state law and strongly denied the counties’ claim. Last year, a state appeals court also ruled against the counties, and the state Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal.

The protracted legal battle has been a popular excuse among California officials trying to shirk their legal obligation to uphold the state’s medical marijuana laws. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided against hearing the case, officials in San Diego, San Bernardino, and seven other counties not following the law have nowhere to go but to obey the will of the voters who overwhelmingly support medical marijuana laws.

Ironically, the I.D. card program requirement San Diego and San Bernardino officials literally made a federal case out of actually makes enforcing the state's medical marijuana laws easier for their local police.

So in the end, taxpayers in those counties had to foot the bill for both sides of a three-years' long challenge to a law that does nothing but simplify life for law enforcement officers and patients alike. I wonder how that will go down at the polls next time these officials are up for reelection.

Beyond California, the message should now be clear that hiding behind federal law is no longer a legitimate position to take when considering state-level medical marijuana laws.