California Marijuana Law

From Pharmacy Drug Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

Flickr: warrantedarrest
Other names Weed, ganja, smoke, Mary Jane, herb, green, etc.
Manufacturer Marijuana is produced by independent growers
Active ingredient delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
Uses Used for recreation and as medicine
Prop 19 Prop 19 was a 2010 prop that would have legalized recreational use of marijuana will in the state of California. It did not pass, with 53.5% of the voters opting against it
Disclaimer The information provided by is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not take any action based on the information on this page without consulting a physician.
Author Allison Hughes

Marijuana is legal in the state of California for medicinal purposes, but it is not legal for recreational use. Use or possession of an ounce or less of marijuana for non-medical use is considered an infraction (like a traffic ticket), while larger amounts or illicit distribution are criminal offenses. In October of 2010, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, in one of his last acts in office, signed a bill that essentially decriminalized possession of an ounce or less; possession of any amount was a misdemeanor up until then.[1]

In order to legally obtain marijuana, patients must have a qualifying medical condition and the drug must be recommended by a licensed physician.



About Marijuana

Marijuana is made by drying the flowers and leaves of Cannabis plants. It is used to get "high," as well as to treat various medical conditions (such as nausea and glaucoma). The most common way of ingesting marijuana is by smoking it from a pipe, cigarette (joint), or water pipe (bong). It is also sometimes heated in a vaporizer, and then the vapors are inhaled. Some people eat marijuana in baked goods or other foods. The active ingredient in marijuana, which produces the euphoric effect as well as medicinal benefits, is THC. Using marijuana can cause bloodshot eyes, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and an increase in appetite.[2]

California Medical Marijuana

The people and the government of California approved marijuana for medical use in 1996 with the passage of Proposition 215, also called the Compassionate Use Act. In 2003, Proposition 420 was passed to expand upon the original provision and to make clarifications.[3] Marijuana is approved to treat conditions such as HIV and AIDS, wasting syndrome, glaucoma, chronic pain, migraines, multiple sclerosis, seizures, upset stomach, and any other malady that hampers the ability to perform everyday functions. Patients must provide proof of residency, proof of identity, and a recommendation from a doctor in order to apply for the medical marijuana program.[4]

Medical Marijuana Providers in California Targeted by Fed

In October of 2011, a press conference was held by the four attorney's for the U.S. that represent California, announcing plans to target the state's medical marijuana providers. Since then, aggressive strategies have been taken, with landlords and providers being threatened with seizures of property and criminal measures.[5] The U.S. Department of Justice has issued hundreds of letters to landlords leasing or renting property to medical marijuana dispensaries. As a result, numerous dispensaries have been shut down across the state.[6] This includes an April, 2012, raid on Oakland pot businesses such as Oaksterdam University.[7]

There are several bills that are before Congress that would help stop these shutdowns if passed. However, during national election years these bills have not historically passed. The bills include House Bill 1983, called the States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, 1984, called the Small Business Banking Improvement Act, and 1985, the Small Business Tax Equity Act.[6]

California Proposition 19 for Recreational Use

Proposition 19 was proposed on the state general election ballot of November, 2010. If the proposition had passed, it would have become legal to use marijuana for recreational purposes in California. In addition, the state would have been able to regulate the marijuana industry and collect taxes on its sale. However, the measure was voted down with 53.5 percent of the vote vs. 46.5 percent in favor.[8]

The outcome of the Prop 19 vote had no effect on medical marijuana laws in California. Residents with qualifying illnesses may still legally purchase, grow, and use marijuana in the state.[9]

Prescription Medications

Find out about prescription drugs such as medical marijuana


Also See: Marijuana and Glaucoma, Marijuana and Nausea, Medical Marijuana, Marijuana and Alcohol, Marijuana and Weight



  6. 6.0 6.1