A Brief Guide to Medical Marijuana Laws in Santa Monica

Marijuana Laws Santa Monica

Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, allows patients to order marijuana delivery in Santa Monica. According to Ballotpedia, 5,382,915 people voted in favor of it, while 4,301,960 rejected it during a ballot on November 5, 1996. Californian voters were 55.6 percent for legalization and 44.4 percent against it, officially changing medical marijuana to legal status:

Protections under Proposition 215
Provisions of Senate Bill 420
Rules to Follow

Here is the Detailed Guide to Medical Marijuana Laws in Santa Monica

Protections under Proposition 215

Because of Proposition 215, the California Health and Safety Code had to add Section 11362.5. This protects patients and their caregivers from legal trouble over the weed they grow and possess. The law allows them to grow as much as needed to treat their illnesses, but no more. Furthermore, it exempts doctors from punishment if they recommend cannabis for their patients.

Proposition 215 also affords patients protection from the federal government, which still considers marijuana illegal. During his 2009 presidential campaign, Barack Obama stopped the Drug and Enforcement Agency from raiding medical patients in California. Federal drug enforcement had to change, ending the Bush administration’s era of regularly raiding medical cannabis distributors.

Provisions of Senate Bill 420

To clarify the application and scope of the Compassionate Use Act, the State Senate’s John Vasconcellos introduced Senate Bill 420. According to California Legislature, the senate subsequently approved this bill in February 2003. It creates a compromise between law enforcement and patients, and it introduces state regulations on how much cannabis patients can have without facing arrest.

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Most notably, it requires Santa Monica and other cities across California to implement an identification system for medical marijuana patients. In response, Medical Marijuana Cards became mandatory, as they protect caregivers and patients from legal hassles. Although hotly disputed by patients’ rights organizations and other advocates, Senate Bill 420 allowed patients the ability to grow their own.

However, the rules were not very liberal. In fact, the guidelines were woefully inadequate for seriously ill people. Patients could have a half-pound of dry cannabis in their homes, and they could harvest six mature plants at a time, or have 12 immature plants growing on their property. This was simply not enough for many patients to treat themselves effectively and these limitations had to change.

In recognition of this fact, Senate Bill 420 introduced more relaxed guidelines: Patients do not have to follow them if their physicians’ state, in writing, that they require more. They may grow as much as they need, but not more than their doctors’ recommend. To appease the independence of cities and counties, it allows them to establish their own guidelines, provided they are higher and not lower.

Medical Marijuana Identification Cards

The state program makes Medical Marijuana Cards available from county health departments. You can get yours from the Santa Monica branch. To cover the program’s costs, you will need to pay a registration fee, which will be valid for a year. If law enforcement doubts the validity of your card, officers can call a 24-hour hotline to verify it.

To get your Santa Monica Medical Marijuana I.D., you will need to provide a doctor’s letter of recommendation stating your need for medicinal cannabis. The system has safeguards in place to protect patient privacy. Police officers cannot use your address or name to identify your patient status. The only way to know that you use medical cannabis is by a unique number found on your card.

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Although there are advocates for medical marijuana in Santa Monica with concerns about this identification system and potential for abuse, Pot Valet recommends registering and getting your card. It will protect you from arrest if police catch you with more weed than the law allows. Other states have been using similar identification programs for many years, and there is yet to be a single report of abuse.

Stipulations for Primary Caregivers

Santa Monica Medical Marijuana Cards are also available for those designated “primary caregivers.” The law allows every patient to choose a single caregiver for him- or herself. They may charge reasonable fees for their services, but there are issues with this: It is illegal to make profit from cultivation or distribution of medical cannabis without a commercial license.

Rules to Follow

There are other rules for patients and caregivers. Breaking them could lead to legal headaches and cause you to lose your status as a legal medical marijuana patient. Although you have the right to associate cooperatively or collectively with other caregivers and patients to cultivate medical cannabis, remember to comply with the following rules at all times:

Do not smoke marijuana in a no-smoking area.
Keep your joint unlit within 300 meters of a youth center or school.
No smoking on school buses.
Never smoke and drive.
Avoid operating a boat while smoking weed.

Parolees, probationers, and prisoners may apply for Medical Marijuana Cards in Santa Monica, but authorities may decide on their own to accept or reject their applications. Furthermore, it is illegal to apply for a card with fraudulent information, steal someone else’s card, use a card that does not belong to you, counterfeit cards, or leak confidential records of patients in the program.

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To use a marijuana dispensary in Santa Monica, you must have a valid Medical Marijuana Card or a letter of recommendation from a licensed doctor to treat yourself with medicinal weed. If you would rather not grow your own, then you may purchase your medicine from one, provided it is legal and registered. You can even order cannabis delivery in Santa Monica and have it arrive on your doorstep.

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Comments (1)

  1. webkuznec April 9, 2017 / 12:20 pm / Reply

    Yes now we can purchase medicine , provided it is legal and registered.

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