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What's the law?

A physician's recommendation for medical Cannabis use is legal under California Health and Safety Code Section 1136.5, added to the Health and Safety Code after voters passed Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. It is a good idea to become familar with Proposition 215 and SB420.

What's the law?

The California Compassionate Use Act, Proposition 215, was enacted and took effect by voters on Nov. 6 1996 as California Health & Safety Code 11362.5. This law makes it legal for a California-licensed physician to recommend the use of medical marijuana to patients. This also allows patients and their designated primary caregivers to posses and cultivate marijuana for their personal medical use.

How much can I legally possess?

Under Proposition 215, patients are entitled to whatever amount of marijuana deemed necessary for their personal medical use. However, Senate Bill 420 which went into effect on January 1, 2004 as California Health & Safety Code 11362.7-.83 set a statewide baseline of 8 ounces of processed cannabis per patient. Local cities and counties may enact higher allowances per patient but may not enact anything lower than 8 ounces.

In People v. Kelly (2010) a Supreme Court ruling held that patients can NOT be prosecuted for simply exceeding the SB420 guidelines. However, they may be arrested and forced to defend themselves in court by proving they had an amount consistent with their personal medical needs.

What illnesses are covered?

Proposition 215 lists "cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief." Therefore physicians have recommended marijuana for various ailments including but not limited to stress, insomnia, depression and substance abuse.

How about Federal Law?

Under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, possession of any marijuana is a misdemeanor and cultivation is a felony. However federal officials have stated that they will not prosecute individual patients and the Obama administration has pledged not to intrude on state medical marijuana laws.

Is my information provided to any government agency?

No. Only your recommending doctor has your medical information. The privacy of your medical records is protected under Federal HIPPA laws.

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