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CA Marijuana Laws

California Medical Marijuana Laws

November 05, 1996, California voters approved Ballot Proposition 215 (effective November 06), removing state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients possessing either a “written or oral recommendation” from their physician, advising possible benefit from the medical use of marijuana. It also outlined the definition of a recommended physician, including that the physician must be responsible for some aspect of patient care, must have a license in good standing in California, and also comply with any accepted medical standards.

January 01, 2004, Senate Bill 420, was amended, imposing statewide guidelines on how much a medical marijuana patient may cultivate or possess.

August 25, 2008, Jerry Brown, the California Attorney General, released the guidelines for law enforcement and medical marijuana patients — “Guidelines for the Security and Non-division of Marijuana Grown for Medicinal Use“. And, October 09, 2015, the California Attorney General, signs three bills — AB 243, AB 266, and SB 634 — to regulate California’s medical marijuana industry, clarifying licensing requirements for cultivation, distribution, transportation, and more.

California Medical Marijuana Law

California Medical Marijuana Program — BALLOT PROPOSITION 215
This initiative measure was submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution. Proposition 215 added a section to the Health and Safety Code known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.
Text of the Law
SECTION 1. Section 11362.5 was added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:11362.5. (a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

(b)(1) The people of the State of California hereby find and declare that the purposes of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 are as follows:

(A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.

(B) To ensure that patients and their primary caregivers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction.

(C) To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede legislation prohibiting persons from engaging in conduct that endangers others, nor to condone the diversion of marijuana for non-medical purposes.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no physician in this state shall be punished, or denied any right or privilege, for having recommended marijuana to a patient for medical purposes.

(d) Section 11357, relating to the possession of marijuana, and Section 11358, relating to the cultivation of marijuana, shall not apply to a patient, or to a patient’s primary caregiver, who possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician.

(e) For the purposes of this section, ”primary caregiver” means the individual designated by the person exempted under this section who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person. SEC. 2. If any provision of this measure or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the measure that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this measure are severable.

READ MORE — California Medical Marijuana Program “BALLOT PROPOSITION 215” [FULL TEXT]

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California Medical Marijuana Program — “GUIDELINES FOR THE SECURITY AND NON-DIVERSION OF MARIJUANA GROWN FOR MEDICAL USE”
GUIDELINES FOR THE SECURITY AND NON-DIVERSION OF MARIJUANA GROWN FOR MEDICAL USE
August 2008
In 1996, California voters approved an initiative that exempted certain patients and their primary caregivers from criminal liability under state law for the possession and cultivation of marijuana. In 2003, the Legislature enacted additional legislation relating to medical marijuana. One of those statutes requires the Attorney General to adopt “guidelines to ensure the security and non-diversion of marijuana grown for medical use.” (Health & Saf. Code, § 11362.81(d).1) To fulfill this mandate, this Office is issuing the following guidelines to (1) ensure that marijuana grown for medical purposes remains secure and does not find its way to non-patients or illicit markets, (2) help law enforcement agencies perform their duties effectively and in accordance with California law, and (3) help patients and primary caregivers understand how they may cultivate, transport, possess, and use medical marijuana under California law.

I. SUMMARY OF APPLICABLE LAW
A. California Penal Provisions Relating to Marijuana. The possession, sale, cultivation, or transportation of marijuana is ordinarily a crime under California law. (See, e.g., § 11357 [possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor]; § 11358 [cultivation of marijuana is a felony]; Veh. Code, § 23222 [possession of less than 1 oz. of marijuana while driving is a misdemeanor]; § 11359 [possession with intent to sell any amount of marijuana is a felony]; § 11360 [transporting, selling, or giving away marijuana in California is a felony; under 28.5 grams is a misdemeanor]; § 11361 [selling or distributing marijuana to minors, or using a minor to transport, sell, or give away marijuana, is a felony].) B. Proposition 215 – The Compassionate Use Act of 1996. On November 5, 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, which decriminalized the cultivation and use of marijuana by seriously ill individuals upon a physician’s recommendation. (§ 11362.5.) Proposition 215 was enacted to “ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of marijuana,” and to “ensure that patients and their primary caregivers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction.” (§ 11362.5(b)(1)(A)-(B).) The Act further states that “Section 11357, relating to the possession of marijuana, and Section 11358, relating to the cultivation of marijuana, shall not apply to a patient, or to a patient’s primary caregiver, who possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the written or verbal recommendation or approval of a physician.” (§ 11362.5(d).) Courts have found an implied defense to the transportation of medical marijuana when the “quantity transported and the method, timing and distance of the transportation are reasonably related to the patient’s current medical needs.” (People v. Trippet (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 1532, 1551.) C. Senate Bill 420 – The Medical Marijuana Program Act. On January 1, 2004, Senate Bill 420, the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMP), became law. (§§ 11362.7-11362.83.) The MMP, among other things, requires the California Department of Public Health (DPH) to establish and maintain a program for the voluntary registration of qualified medical marijuana patients and their primary caregivers through a statewide identification card system. Medical marijuana identification cards are intended to help law enforcement officers identify and verify that cardholders are able to cultivate, possess, and transport certain amounts of marijuana without being subject to arrest under specific conditions. (§§ 11362.71(e), 11362.78.) It is mandatory that all counties participate in the identification card program by (a) providing applications upon request to individuals seeking to join the identification card program; (b) processing completed applications; (c) maintaining certain records; (d) following state implementation protocols; and (e) issuing DPH identification cards to approved applicants and designated primary caregivers. (§ 11362.71(b).) Participation by patients and primary caregivers in the identification card program is voluntary. However, because identification cards offer the holder protection from arrest, are issued only after verification of the cardholder’s status as a qualified patient or primary caregiver, and are immediately verifiable online or via telephone, they represent one of the best ways to ensure the security and non-diversion of marijuana grown for medical use. In addition to establishing the identification card program, the MMP also defines certain terms, sets possession guidelines for cardholders, and recognizes a qualified right to collective and cooperative cultivation of medical marijuana. (§§ 11362.7, 11362.77, 11362.775.) D. Taxability of Medical Marijuana Transactions. In February 2007, the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) issued a Special Notice confirming its policy of taxing medical marijuana transactions, as well as its requirement that businesses engaging in such transactions hold a Seller’s Permit. (http://www.boe.ca.gov/news/pdf/medseller2007.pdf.) According to the Notice, having a Seller’s Permit does not allow individuals to make unlawful sales, but instead merely provides a way to remit any sales and use taxes due.page1image9848

READ MORE — California Medical Marijuana Program “Guidelines For The Security and Non-Diversion of Marijuana Grown For Medical Use” [FULL TEXT]

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  

Possession

Personal Use
28.5 grams or less infraction N/A $100
28.5 grams or less, over 18 years, and occurred on school grounds misdemeanor 10 days $500
28.5 grams or less, under 18 years misdemeanor 10 days* $250
More than 28.5 grams misdemeanor 6 mos $500
With Intent to Distribute
Any amount felony 16 mos – 3 years $0
*Detention center

Sale or Delivery

Any amount felony 2 – 4 years $0
Gift of 28.5 grams or less misdemeanor N/A $100
Over 18 years to an individual 14-17 years felony 3 – 7 years $0

Cultivation

Any amount felony 16 mos – 3 years $0

Hash & Concentrates

Possession N/A 1 year $500
Unauthorized manufacture N/A 16 mos – 3 years $500
Chemical manufacture N/A 3 – 7 years $50,000

Paraphernalia

Sale, delivery, possession with intent, and manufacture with intent misdemeanor 15 days – 6 mos $500
Involving a minor at least 3 years junior misdemeanor 1 year $1,000

Forfeiture

Vehicles and other property may be seized for controlled substance violations.

Miscellaneous

Using a minor in the unlawful sale or transport of marijuana is a felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment. Inducing a minor to use marijuana is also a felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment.
Any violation of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act results in a fine up to $150.
A person who participates in the illegal marketing of marijuana is liable for civil damages.
It is a misdemeanor to loiter in a public place with the intent to commit certain controlled substances offenses.
A controlled substance conviction can result in suspension of driving privileges.

Finally, a helpful & informative website! MarijuanaDoctors.com answered all of my medical marijuana questions and helped me schedule an appointment with an accredited doctor in my area.~Susan - Denver, CO