Starting with the passage of Proposition 215 in California in 1996, a total of 15 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of marijuana for properly authorized patients. However, each of these states has adopted somewhat different provisions, resulting in a confusing and sometimes conflicting set of rules and regulations. The courts have generally been left with the task of filling in the details through a series of criminal and civil cases defining how the patients can obtain their medical marijuana, while maintaining a prohibition against the use of marijuana by non-medical users.
It is in everyone's interest to further clarify the rules and regulations that govern the medical use of marijuana where it is allowed. These regulations should be transparent, understandable and predictable. Criminal defense attorneys (and NORML Legal Committee members) James Devine and Jay Leiderman of Ventura California have prepared this legal guide, including the applicable case law, to provide this necessary clarity to California patients, physicians, care providers, related businesses, policy makers and law enforcement. In the fourteen years that have passed since voters approved Prop. 215, lawmakers, courts, and local regulators have sought to integrate medical marijuana into various facets of state and local laws. This compendium collects these rulings and developments and provides a primer for how patients, producers, and providers can operate in full compliance with California state law.
This Legal Guide while crucially important and relevant for patients, providers, cultivators, physicians and attorneys in California is a decidedly valuable resource in the other fifteen states and the District of Columbia with medical marijuana laws.