Ballot Proposition 215 -- Approved Nov. 5, 1996 by 56% of voters
Effective: Nov. 6, 1996
Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a "written or oral recommendation" from their physician that he or she "would benefit from medical marijuana." Patients diagnosed with any debilitating illness where the medical use of marijuana has been "deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician" are afforded legal protection under this act.
Approved Conditions: AIDS, anorexia, arthritis, cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, migraine, persistent muscle spasms, including spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, including seizures associated with epilepsy, severe nausea; Other chronic or persistent medical symptoms.
Amended: Senate Bill 420
Effective: Jan. 1, 2004
Imposes statewide guidelines outlining how much medicinal marijuana patients may grow and possess.
Possession/Cultivation: Qualified patients and their primary caregivers may possess no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana and/or six mature (or 12 immature) marijuana plants. However, S.B. 420 allows patients to possess larger amounts of marijuana when recommended by a physician. The legislation also allows counties and municipalities to approve and/or maintain local ordinances permitting patients to possess larger quantities of medicinal pot than allowed under the new state guidelines.
S.B. 420 also grants implied legal protection to the state's medicinal marijuana dispensaries, stating, "Qualified patients, persons with valid identification cards, and the designated primary caregivers of qualified patients ... who associate within the state of California in order collectively or cooperatively to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes, shall not solely on the basis of that fact be subject to state criminal sanctions."
SB 1449 -- Approved Sept 30th, 2010
Signed: Sept 30th, 2010
State downgrades Marijuana Possession from a Misdemeanor to an Infraction.
**Note: On Jan. 21, 2010, the California Supreme Court affirmed the May 22, 2008 Second District Court of Appeals ruling that the possession limits set by SB 420 violate the California constitution because the voter-approved Prop. 215 can only be amended by the voters.
As of Dec. 22, 2009, the California Medical Marijuana Program was still operating under the guidelines in SB 420 because it had not received instruction otherwise, according to program representative Paula Sahleen-Buckingham in a phone interview conducted by ProCon.org. We have not yet confirmed how the Jan. 21, 2010 ruling will affect the implementation of the medical marijuana program in California.**
Attorney General's Guidelines:
On Aug. 25, 2008, California Attorney General Jerry Brown issued guidelines for law enforcement and medical marijuana patients to clarify the state's law.
California Department of Public Health
Office of County Health Services
California Medical Marijuana Program
Guidelines for the Security and Non-diversion of Marijuana Grown for Medical Use
Information provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"Dispensaries, growing collectives, etc., are licensed through local city or county business ordinances and the regulatory authority lies with the State Attorney General's Office. Their number is 1-800-952-5225." (accessed Jan. 11, 2010)
$66 non Medi-Cal / $33 Medi-Cal, plus additional county fees (varies by location)
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?