California Medical Marijuana
|Dispensaries and Clinics|
The Compassionate Use Act brought about the legalization of California Medical Marijuana. The act initiated the cannabis movement with California becoming the first state to contradict the federal government by allowing its qualified residents to escape state prosecution for possession and consumption of the plant. Since its inception in 1996, the law was amended eight years later making it the most comprehensive law of its kind in the nation.
Part of its comprehensive nature, California Medical Marijuana law has many specified provisions not found so explicitly in other state’s medical marijuana laws. Medical Marijuana California law specifically protects dispensaries, caregivers, and physicians who recommend the medical use of marijuana—as well as contains literature affirming caregivers’ right to receive compensation for their services. In contrast to the majority of other states, registration with the state board is completely voluntary, and qualified individuals are still entitled to protection even if they do not possess a registry card. Most uniquely, California Medical Marijuana laws allow for individuals facing prosecution or on probation to still access cannabis for their medical needs. In addition, cities and counties have the authority to allow for increased personal use amounts for qualified patients.
Again illustrating the comprehensive nature of the law, Medical Marijuana in California has the most inclusive medical conditions. Acceptable conditions include: Chronic Pain, Severe Nausea, Persistent Muscle Spasms, Seizures, Migraines, Cancer, Glaucoma, Arthritis, Anorexia, AIDS, Cachexia, and most broadly--any chronic or continuous medical condition which inhibits one of the major life activities. As long as a patient has a written statement from a certified physician, stating one of the above conditions, the patient is protected under California’s Medical Marijuana law.
As stated above, possession limitations can be adjusted for certain patients in cities or counties which allow it. However, Medical Marijuana California law states that each patient is limited to eight ounces of usable cannabis, and no more than six mature or a dozen immature plants. While California Medical Marijuana law suggests that cultivation and distribution should be handled by either state or federal governments, such a plan is not currently in existence. In the absence of such governmental implementation, California Medical Marijuana law allows for growing and dispensing collective and cooperatives to operate.
As with all states that allow medical marijuana for their qualified residents, there is no specified language in the California Medical Marijuana law which requires any insurance company to reimburse a patient for any costs or expenses associated with the procurement of their medication. In addition, there are no provisions on how housing or employment agencies are required to handle residents or employees who are medical marijuana patients.
News & Updates
Medical marijuana dispensaries are a type of business that exist in a legal grey area. It is for this reason that it has been so easy for the federal government to bully them into shutting down, despite public support for the medicine and it's legal use.
Colorado dispensaries, however, have made a move to increase their political sway by joining the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. As the first medical marijuana entity to make such a bold step they are raising eyebrows across the nation.
Many people are shocked, be it in a positive or negative way, about the California Medical Association's recently admitted stance on marijuana regulation. As the state's biggest group of healthcare providers, they are well respected and influential in the medical community.
There has been a lot of talk in the news recently about the federal government's attempts to curb the medical marijuana industry. One of the biggest moves made was against California, where many dispensaries recently received threatening letters to cease and desist.
These steps against California dispensaries were not made subtly and have actually been quite public. Many people in other states have been forced to ask themselves why something similar isn't happening in their own state.
Despite recent attempts by the federal government to bully the medical marijuana industry, California's Pot Expo thrived over the weekend. A three-day event that started on Friday, October 7th, the Pot Expo featured vendors in many fields of marijuana.
The West Coast Cannabis Expo and Music Festival is set to be held in San Francisco this weekend, October 7th to 9th, 2011. In addition to celebrating various marijuana strains, products, and supported music, the Expo will feature a number of cannabis-friendly job opportunities.
Within the Expo will be a medical cannabis job fair, presented by the staff of Cannajobs. This event comes in response to the current economy, which has been rough on both marijuana patients and distributors, alike.
On Tuesday, September 13th, the city council of San Jose, California, will hold an important meeting about the future of medical marijuana within its boundaries. Patient supporters will work to maintain the legal standards that have been previously defined, while opposers will seek to greatly limit the current law's regulations.
As the birthplace of widely accepted medical marijuana, California is often believed to be the “stoniest” state. After all, with more time to develop legal dispensary and prescription systems, it would make sense that the highest percentage of smokers would reside in this western state.
This is not the case, however, as new reports indicate that California ranks tenth on the chart of “most stoned” states. With 17 states prescribing legal medical marijuana, this means that nine of them are doing so at a higher rate than what is often considered “the hippy state.”
Despite the fact that there are now 17 states that allow the use of medical marijuana, many patients feel as though they need to hide their prescriptions, only smoking in the privacy of the home. This is not the case in Oakland, California, however, as legal marijuana users took the streets this weekend to publicly tell the local government that the current laws do not offer enough protection.
The California Court of Appeals is set once again to hear arguments regarding Anaheim’s four year ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. This is after an Orange County Superior Court judge delivered a victory to Anaheim in ruling that the city’s ban was not in violation of state law. The controversy has been contested in various state courts since the marijuana dispensary Qualified Patients Association filed suit against the city’s ban in 2007.
On August 11, 2011, a Tulare County Superior Court judge in California ruled that a marijuana collective cannot operate on land zoned for agricultural purposes. Judge Paul Vortmann stated, “In this state, marijuana has never been classified as a crop or horticultural product.”