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Medical Marijuana Prescriptions in California

California Laws Related to Medical Marijuana

On November 5, 1996, the California legislation adapted Proposition 215 into law. Also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the legislation allowed marijuana to be used by certain persons for medical reasons. Since then it has been added to the California Health and Safety Code as §11362.5, which allows medical patients and their designated primary caregivers to legally possess and cultivate (but not distribute or sell) marijuana under if they have a valid physician's recommendation or approval.

A valid physician is one that is licensed and in good standing to practice medicine with the Medical Board of California. The physician must have taken responsibility for an aspect of the person's medical care, including, but not limited to, an examination, diagnosis, or counseling, before recording into the person's chart that they have a serious medical conditions qualifying them for the use of medicinal marijuana. The person must be prepared and willing to present any medical health records requested.

The knowledgeable DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys at Hoffman & Associates use creative, alternative strategies to assist clients who may be falsely accused of marijuana possession. We stay abreast of the changing legal developments related to medical marijuana and will fight to protect your rights and good reputation.

Prescriptions for Medical Marijuana in California

California residents over the age of 18 who have a serious medical condition with documentation as proof meet the threshold requirements to receive a medical marijuana prescription. Some of the conditions established as serious include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis.
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraines
  • Persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, spasms associated with multiple sclerosis
  • Seizures, including, but not limited to, seizures associated with epilepsy
  • Severe nausea.
  • Additional conditions that substantially limit the person's ability to conduct one or more of life's activities, and if not alleviated may cause serious harm to the person's physical or mental health.
Marijuana Possession and Medical Marijuana in California

If you do not possess a valid prescription for medical marijuana, the penalties for possession of small amounts of the drug have changed. On January 1, 2011 possession of one ounce or less of marijuana was downgraded to an infraction and is no longer considered a misdemeanor under California Heath & Safety Code Section 11357(b). The punishment for this infraction is a maximum fine of $100 fine (plus fees). However, a criminal record is created nonetheless, which can be embarrassing.

The qualified defense attorneys at Hoffman & Associates understand that much of the fear and anxiety our clients experience related to the legal system are the result of dealing with the unknown. We take the time to learn about your case and carefully explain the legal process and your options to you. For a more complete understanding of the laws relating to medical marijuana in California, contact us for a phone or office consultation. Our skilled attorneys practice in courts throughout California, including the courts in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.