California Cannabis Law


MMP or the Medical Marijuana Program was established in order to provide a voluntary medical marijuana ID card issuance program for all those patients who qualified and their caregivers as well. In the state of California, the system allows enforcement of laws and verifies validity of qualified patients and their caregivers to possess, grow, use and transport medical marijuana in the state. Medical marijuana use was approved in California on November 5, 1996 via a 56 percent vote. Upon getting a recommendation from a physician for medical marijuana use, a patient and his or her primary caregiver could apply and be issued a medical marijuana card. Senate bill 420 further required that the program be supported fully via the card application processing fees. Both counties and state have the authority to cover the costs they incur through the application fees.

Some of the medical conditions approved for therapeutic marijuana use in California include anorexia, AIDS, arthritis, Cachexia, chronic pain, glaucoma, cancer, migraine, seizures, severe nausea, persistent muscle spasms including those associated with multiple sclerosis, migraine and other persistent or chronic medical symptoms. To register for the MMP card in California, you have to contact your county program and complete an application form. You should also ask your doctor to complete a written documentation of your records and then mail the forms to the California Department of Public Health, with attention to the Medical Marijuana Program Unit. The card fee is $66 for every patient and $33 for every caregiver. These figures are only state administration fees and counties could add administration fees of their own, so make sure to contact your county before you proceed in applying for an MMP card.

The legalization of marijuana use has removed criminal penalties on possession, use and cultivation of marijuana by those who acquired a doctor’s written recommendation which states that the person benefits from using medical marijuana. Patients who were diagnosed with debilitating illness where marijuana has been deemed appropriate are given legal protection under the law. The amount that a patient can possess is not more than eight ounces of dried marijuana or six mature plants. Twelve immature marijuana may be allowed as a replacement of the six mature ones. The legislation also allows municipalities and councils to maintain or approve local ordinances that permit patients to possess bigger quantities than normally allowed under the new guidelines of the state of California.

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