Becoming a Legal Medical Marijuana Patient in California
In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana with the enactment of the Compassionate Use Act (CUA), otherwise referred to as Prop 215. Eight years later, in 2004, this was amended with SB420. This amendment served to provide even greater protections for patients using medical marijuana for medical reasons.
The CUA and SB 420 have been codified as Health and Safety Code 11362.5 – 11362.83, which provide the following protections and limitations:
- Your first move should be a consultation with your own physician
- Without a medical record that shows treatment for serious illness, you may be ineligible for medical marijuana under Prop 215
- You need to gain a physician’s recommendation or approval for the use of medical marijuana to treat your condition
- Official registration is not required No official registration is required
- Marijuana can be recommended for any serious condition for which it provides relief. Dr Tod Mikuriya has recorded nearly 250 conditions that may be helped by cannabis
- Under state law physicians cannot be punished for recommending medical marijuana. However, they must not assist their patients in obtaining marijuana. These Medical Marijuana Guidelines for Physicians will help you to clarify the situation
- Of the 1500 physicians in California who have recommended cannabis under Prop 215, none have been federally prosecuted.