Starting Aug. 1, Alameda County will issue medical marijuana identification cards that will be recognized by county marijuana dispensaries and by law enforcement statewide.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 Tuesday to set a $50 fee for the cards, which will be issued by the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative. Board President Keith Carson was absent.

The cards will be the only ones recognized by marijuana dispensaries in the county's unincorporated areas, according to a county staff report.

The cards will be part of a statewide identification system and will be recognized by state and local law enforcement, according to the staff report.

County public health management analyst Pam Willow said 20 counties are providing the cards so far, though two — San Diego and San Bernardino — have launched court challenges questioning their obligation to provide marijuana or the identification cards.

The public health department estimates about 10,000 of the cards will be issued in the county each year, and that about a quarter of the people applying for the cards will qualify for a Medi-Cal fee reduction that will cut the cost of the card in half.

Patients will need to provide proof of identity, a doctor's recommendation for the marijuana and proof of Alameda County residency. The cards will be good for one year.changes are approved by the board.

"The right to a union is a fundamental right," said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of CNA.

The three cases are known as Oakwood Healthcare, Golden Crest Healthcare and Croft Metals Inc. They stem from a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court decision in NLRB v. Kentucky River. The high court overturned the labor board's decision that six registered nurses

working at a mental health facility called Kentucky River were not supervisors because they did not exercise independent judgment in performing their duties.

The NLRB is a federal agency that investigates alleged unfair labor practices by employees and unions. It also conducts elections to determine if workers want union representation.

The five-member board is appointed by the president to five-year terms. All the current members were appointed by President Bush. Three are Republicans and two are Democrats, said Patricia Gilbert, spokeswoman for the NLRB.

The scope of the ruling is unknown. How the NLRB rules in three cases could affect employees in other industries.

"This would define whether or not an employee in a certain position is or is not a supervisor," Gilbert said. "It could go either way."

Art Pulaski of the California Labor Federation AFL-CIO said the NLRB is made up of anti-unionists who are sympathetic to union-busting corporate hospitals.

"George W. Bush is trying to put us in the same boat, a sinking ship," Pulaski told nurses at the rally.

A decision from the board is expected by the end of the summer, Gilbert said.