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Marijuana for Medical Purposes -


       California has the Medical Marijuana (also known as Prop 215) that sets forth the allowable limits for dried marijuana and mature plants for those people who have the necessary medical documents. Under state law, cities and counties are authorized to adopt medical marijuana possession and cultivation guidelines, so long as the per patient amounts are greater than 8 oz of dried female marijuana flowering tops plus 12 immature or 6 mature cannabis plants.

Marijuana Patient

       A person can become a medical marijuana patient by obtaining from a licensed physician written documentation stating that the person has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition and that the medical use of marijuana is helpful or appropriate. See Health & Safety §11362.715. There are many physician clinics which provide qualified physicians for the required examinations and written documentation that are required. One such listing of the physicians can be found at http://www.canorml.org.

Primary Caregivers

       This is an area of extreme upheaval. The laws allow a primary caregiver topossess the threshold amounts for the benefit of the medical marijuana patient. Also, a person can be a primary caregiver to more than one person. Thus a primary caregiver could possess multiple quantities of the permitted amounts for each person for whom they were a qualified caregiver. There is even a form for the patient to use in order that a particular person can qualify as the designated primary caregiver.

Sample Form - Designation of Primary Caregiver - (California Health & Safety Code 11362.5)


Designation of Primary Caregiver
(California Health & Safety Code 11362.5)

I,_________________________________________________, (Print name legibly) hereby certify that I suffer from cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or other serious illness and I have obtained a recommendation or approval from a licensed physician to use medical marijuana (cannabis) in treating my illness. (A copy of my recommendation or approval is attached hereto).

I hereby designate __________________________________ (Print name legibly) as my "Primary Caregiver," in accordance with Health & Safety Code 11362.5(d) and 11362.5(e), which read as follows:
(d) Section 11357, relating to the possession of marijuana, and Section 11358, relating to the cultivation of marijuana, shall not apply to a patient, or to a patients primary caregiver, who possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician.
(e) For the purpose of this section, "primary caregiver" means the individual designated by the person exempted under this act who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person.
I agree that I will consistently rely on the above-named person as the primary source of my medical marijuana as a matter of my personal health and safety. This designation shall remain in effect for a period of one year.

Dated: _________

_____________________________
(Signature)



People v Mentch (California Supreme Decision)

       Unfortunately, the California Supreme Court has recently narrowed the qualifications of who may qualify as a primary caregiver and currently it appears that the person must be the primary medical care provider. See People v Mentch (2008) 45 Cal.4th 274. The court held that a person whose caregiving consisted principally of supplying marijuana and instructing on its use, and who otherwise only sporadically took some patients to medical appointments, cannot qualify as a primary caregiver under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

- Written by , Attorney at Law

 

 

 

 



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