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Who Uses Medical Marijuana in California?

Who Uses Medical Marijuana in California?

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 02/17/2011 in Medical Marijuana

On November 5, 1996, the great state of California made history by passing the nation’s very first medical marijuana law: Proposition 215. Prop 215, AKA the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, allows the cultivation and use of medical marijuana by seriously ill individuals who receive a state licensed physician’s recommendation.

In 2003, Senate Bill (SB) 420 (Chapter 875, Statutes of 2003) was passed as an extension and clarification of Proposition 215. SB420 established a voluntary marijuana card id program to provide patients with cannabis cards to use in the event they are arrested, and to help facilitate entry into dispensaries.. According to the California Medical Marijuana Program (MMP), 56 counties have issued 50,849 marijuana cards since 2004. Here are the statistics as of 2/7/11:


Identification Cards Issued

FY 2004/05


FY 2005/06


FY 2006/07


FY 2007/08


FY 2008/09


FY 2009/10


FY 2010/11




However, because the marijuana card program is strictly optional, these numbers aren’t exactly an accurate representation of who California’s medical marijuana patients. California’s medical marijuana laws are so not strict that almost any medical condition will qualify. Many other states criticize this portion of the law, but the fact is that thousands of patients who need medical cannabis can qualify in California even if they wouldn’t be eligible for medical weed as residents in any other state. Patients don’t need a cannabis card; they only need a recommendation from a state licensed physician to legally qualify as a legal medical marijuana patient.

So who uses medical marijuana in California? People from all walks of life, incomes, nationalities and backgrounds. Marijuana is a cure all drug for any chronic pain condition, from migraines, to back pain to arthritis. It’s used by cancer patients to combat the pain, nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy and radiation therapy. And it’s used by HIV/AIDS patients to combat pain and wasting syndrome. Bottom line, patients have safe and legal access to medical marijuana in California, and that’s a good thing.

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