Medical marijuana has been legal in California for almost 20 years now thanks to the California Compassionate Use Act and Proposition 215. Despite this, many people still have a number of misconceptions about how this act applies and when, including patients and law enforcement alike. This has been especially true here in the San Diego area, where many were initially opposed to the law.
Over the past two decades, medical marijuana stigma has decreased, as it became increasingly clear just how much it can help those suffering from serious illnesses, such as cancer and AIDS.
Unfortunately, law itself has been interpreted (and misinterpreted) by so many lay people in different ways that sometimes people with legitimate prescriptions for medical marijuana are still prosecuted for crimes that they should be exempt from under Proposition 215, such as possession, possession for sale, transportation of marijuana, sale of a controlled substance, and cultivation of marijuana. These people must then enlist the help of a San Diego marijuana attorney in order to get the charges dropped.
While any California marijuana attorney would be happy to help you fight these charges and clear your name, we would all be better off with a wider knowledge of the law. Hopefully with more access to correct knowledge, fewer people will be unfairly arrested to begin with.
What Is Allowed Under the Act
In People vs. Mower, the California Supreme Court held patients have the same right to marijuana as to any other legally prescribed drug. This means that patients with a medical cannabis prescription have the right in the state of California to access the drug as they need it. The California Compassionate Use Act provides the framework that gives patients this access.
There are three main activities related to medical marijuana access that are permitted under the California Compassionate Use Act:
- Possessing a medically necessary amount of marijuana (deemed as 8 oz under SB 420 guidelines),
- Cultivating a medically necessary amount of marijuana (deemed as 6 mature plants per person under SB 420 guidelines), and
- Transporting medical marijuana.
These activities can be done by the patient himself or by her primary caregiver, such as a spouse or parent. It’s also important to note that the amounts listed in SB420 are just recommendations, not firm limits, so people cannot automatically be found guilty simply for having more.
Every person who uses medical marijuana or cares for a medical marijuana user should be aware of his or her rights provided by Proposition 215. Do not be afraid to assert your rights. If you have been arrested for a marijuana related charge in the San Diego area, contact the experienced marijuana lawyer Jessica McElfresh at today for a free consultation. You should never be punished for simply exercising your legal rights. We will fight to ensure that you aren’t.
California marijuana laws change frequently. For updated information, see the following pages: Medicinal Uses of Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana Business