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California Marijuana Medical Laws
Although the possession, sale, cultivation, or transportation of marijuana is illegal in the state of California, medical marijuana is not. A physician’s verbal or written recommendation can allow individuals to obtain a medical marijuana identification card, allowing them to purchase medical marijuana for medicinal purposes only. Businesses can also establish a medical marijuana dispensary under the guidelines of California Marijuana Medical Laws. These businesses are nonprofit and operate with state approved vendors. This article will give insight into the common concerns and questions regarding medical marijuana for personal and business use.
Often times people are confused with the contradiction of medicinal marijuana with California state law and federal law. The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) essentially declares recreational drug use illegal in America and is unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or posses any controlled substance. The CSA also deems marijuana as having “no currently accepted medical use”. The reason why medical marijuana is not punishable under the CSA is because California never legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes under California Marijuana Medical Laws. Rather, the state has used its lawful power to not punish certain crime offenses under state law when a physician has recommended its use to treat an eligible patient.
A California physician is not able to prescribe medical marijuana, but instead can issue a written recommendation for medical marijuana as a treatment for an illness. Illnesses can include cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness that a physician deems treatable with medicinal marijuana. The term “qualified patient” refers to someone who has received a physician’s recommendation for medicinal marijuana. Primary caregivers is someone who is designated by the patient to be responsible for housing, health, or safety. Eligible patients and primary caregivers should posses a medical marijuana identification card to avoid complications with police officers.
Patients and primary caregivers are recommended to apply for this card. It allows officers to quickly and confidently verify the legality of the possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Written proof of a physician’s recommendation should also be carried. If these items are not with the patient upon a police confrontation, police officers are instructed to use their best judgement in determining the legality of the situation and can use probable cause to search and seize marijuana, and arrest the possessor. A patient may posses up to 8 oz. (or more if it is otherwise noted by a physician) of medical marijuana, while primary caregivers can posses multiples of 8 oz. relative to how many people they care for. A patient can instead cultivate six mature marijuana plants or 12 immature marijuana plants. Use of medical marijuana must be 1000 feet away from a school, recreational center, or youth center unless it is within a residence. It cannot be used in jail or at work. Parolees and criminal defendants may request court approval for the use of medical marijuana.
Business must collectively or cooperatively run a medical marijuana dispensary. Essentially, it must be nonprofit. Records of individual transactions must be kept. Individuals who are not recommended by a physician are considered nonmembers and cannot be sold medical marijuana. Marijuana must come from regulated farms that are grown for the sole purpose of medical use, and cannot be purchased from nonmembers or private farms. Medical marijuana does qualify for state tax and a business must have a Seller’s Permit. In order to hire someone, an employee must make a written agreement to not distribute marijuana to nonmembers, maintain records, and enforce expired cards and recommendations. Any business that are for profit or act as a patient’s primary caregiver, and offer medical marijuana for cash “donations” are most likely unlawful.
If you have any questions about California Marijuana Medical Laws contact San Diego Defense Attorney Vik Monder at 619.405.0063 or visit San Diego Criminal Defense