The use of medical cannabis continues to be an issue for national debate. However, as of January 2018, it has become legal for those over the age of 21 to possess marijuana.
However, an experienced San Diego medical marijuana attorney often can mount a successful defense to these types of charges when you can demonstrate that you were involved in legitimate use of marijuana for medical purposes, or were the caregiver for a medical marijuana patient. Call criminal defense attorney Jessica McElfresh today at (858) 756-7107.
Free consultation for criminal defense cases only. Cannabis business consultation requires a fee.
California Medical Marijuana Identification Cards Can Be Beneficial
In California, one of the most effective ways to mount a defense in advance of potentially ambiguous marijuana charges is to obtain a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC). While medical cannabis patients are not required to get an MMIC to enjoy the protection of the law, a state card may provide an extra layer of protection against arrest and prosecution.
The MMIC serves as automatic proof that you and your caregiver are operating legally under California’s medical marijuana law. It will provide you with some peace of mind as you possess, use, transport, and cultivate marijuana.
Identifying the Laws That Protect Medical Cannabis Patients in San Diego
It’s important to understand which laws protect patients who use medical cannabis to treat specific medical conditions. The nearly 20-year-old Proposition 215 is the primary instrument that makes it legal for patients and their designated primary caregivers to possess and cultivate marijuana for their personal medical use on the recommendation of a physician licensed in the state of California.
Another legislative statute, SB420, broadens Proposition 215 to include transportation as well as allowing patients to form medical cannabis collectives or cooperatives and established a volunteer state ID card system managed through county health departments.
The Medical Marijuana Identification Card identifies the cardholder as a person protected under these statutes and regulations. The MMIC is intended to help law enforcement identify the cardholder as a person who is legally able to possess minor amounts of medical cannabis under specific conditions.
Conditions that Qualify a Patient to Use Medical Cannabis
A licensed California physician can write a recommendation for any condition for which cannabis provides relief. However, most San Diego physicians recommend cannabis for symptoms associated with the following:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic pain
- Other chronic and terminal conditions
How to Obtain a Legal Medical Marijuana Identification Card
Patients who intend to legally use medical cannabis to treat their conditions must fill out an application form or a renewal form. Patients must reside in the California County where the application is submitted. For example, patients who live in the city of San Diego will apply in San Diego County, while patients in adjacent areas might apply for their MMIC in Orange County, Riverside County, or Imperial County.
Patients must provide current documentation with their applications including:
- A copy of a doctor’s recommendation, usually offered as the California Department of Public Health’s form CDPH 9044.
- Proof of identity, which can be offered as a valid California Department of Motor Vehicles driver’s license or a valid state ID card, or other valid government-issued ID card with photo identification.
- Proof of residency, which can be a lease or mortgage agreement, utility bill, vehicle registration or other official documentation.
Patients should make their application at their county’s program. Application forms can be obtained by mail, in person, or online in English and Spanish. Applicants are also required to pay a non-refundable fee. Patients will also have their photos taken at the county’s program office, which will appear on their MMIC.
SB420 requires medical cannabis patients to renew their Medical Marijuana Identification Cards annually.
How a San Diego Medical Marijuana Lawyer Can Help
Medical cannabis can be a beneficial therapy for many patients. If your medical marijuana rights have been violated, an experienced San Diego marijuana attorney can help.
Jessica McElfresh is an experienced San Diego medical marijuana lawyer who has represented medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives in the area, and she can make your rights under California and San Diego laws are protected through the process of starting your collective. She can also represent you at public hearings and public meetings to ensure your voice is heard. Call (858) 756-7107 today to learn how to get started.
This website is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Free consultation for criminal defense cases only. Cannabis business consultation requires a fee.