Medical Marijuana Laws In California

Cannabis for medical use was approved in California on Nov. 5, 1996. Voter approval of Proposition 215 removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by any patient who possesses a "written or oral recommendation" from a physician that the patient "would benefit from medical marijuana." The act also allows doctors to authorize their patients to grow a certain amount of marijuana individually or in collectives.

But even with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and newfound federal leniency, marijuana growers still face federal and state prosecution. Conservative counties are coming down on marijuana cultivators that they claim do not meet the reasonable limits. If police officers consider the amount of marijuana you grow to be excessive or say that you are not a legal patient, they can arrest you.

At The Law Offices of Frederick R. Remer in Hayward, California, we do not assume that your arrest is just. Our marijuana dispensary defense lawyer protects the legal rights of clients facing arrest for cultivating marijuana and selling it to dispensaries. We also protect dispensaries facing allegations for illegal marijuana distribution.

Don't steal electricity. A number of individuals who have been arrested for cultivation of marijuana have also been charged with using illegal electrical bypass equipment to steal electricity from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. We can attempt to negotiate a realistic amount that is owed to PG&E in these situations, but our best legal advice is to not steal power in the first place.

Hayward Lawyer For Legal Marijuana Dispensaries

Conditions approved for use of medical marijuana in California include:

  • 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

California Senate Bill 420, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2004, imposes statewide guidelines outlining how much medicinal marijuana patients may grow and possess. It states that patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than 8 ounces of dried marijuana and/or six mature cannabis plants. Twelve immature cannabis plants are allowed in place of the six mature ones. Patients may possess larger amounts of marijuana when recommended by a physician. Municipalities may approve local ordinances permitting patients to possess larger quantities of medicinal marijuana than allowed under the new state guidelines.

California Senate Bill 420 also grants implied legal protection to the state's medicinal marijuana dispensaries. The same bill mandates the California Department of Health Care Services to establish a voluntary medicinal marijuana patient registry and issue identification cards to qualified patients. To date, however, no such registry has been established.

If you have questions about medical marijuana laws in California or charges you face, call 510-342-5539 or email us to schedule a free consultation.