In 1996, the state of California passed the Compassionate Use Act (or Proposition 215), which legalized the possession and use of medical marijuana for those in possession of a California medical marijuana card, which is issued to those suffering from the more than 50 qualifying conditions laid out by the state government. Just last year, California saw yet another expansion of the state’s marijuana laws with the passing of Proposition 64, making the consumption of recreational marijuana also legal under state law.
Although this new proposition won’t come into full effect until early 2018, patients who hold a California medical marijuana card are asking what this new law will mean for their rights and access to their medication. Other members of the public who previously may have considered qualifying for a California medical marijuana card are also wondering what this new law will mean for their rights and whether it would still be beneficial to register as a medical marijuana patient. The following article aims to tackle these questions along with the finer details of application and qualification of a California medical marijuana card.
What Rights Have Changed
Proposition 64 enables members of the public who are 21 years of age or older to both possess and consume medical marijuana. However, there are still some limitations in terms of accessibility, the volume of possession and restrictions to areas of consumption that California medical marijuana card holders can still get around.
Because of the massive overhaul required by the new legislation, adult-use shops will most likely not have access to a license to legally sell and distribute marijuana until at least 2018. Although it will now be legal for members of the public to possess and consume cannabis, it will still be illegal to buy and sell it. Similarly, there will also be restrictions on how much cannabis members of the public can possess and grow at any one time. As it stands, the legislation states that the average citizen can now possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana flowers or 8 grams of concentrate while walking around in public without fear of arrest. Recreational users will also be permitted to grow up to six plants in their home. Consumption of cannabis will continue to be prohibited in public spaces, which means that if members of the public wish to partake, they’ll have to do so in a private setting.
What Are the Benefits of Applying for a Medical Marijuana Card?
Those in possession of a California medical marijuana card will continue to have access to the licensed medical marijuana dispensaries that are already in operation. Once the legislation is set for the legal distribution of cannabis, the same dispensaries have pledged to create fast-track lines for those in possession of a California medical marijuana card to ensure that continued quick and easy access to their medication is possible.
420 card holders will also have less strict regulations on how much marijuana that they can grow at home: 100 square feet will still be permitted, as opposed to the just six plants allowed for the public. Consumption of medical marijuana will also continue to be allowed in most areas that tobacco smoking is, so long as the patient is in possession of the proper documentation.
Proposition 64 also created two new taxes: one levied on cultivation and the other on the retail price that California medical marijuana card holders will be exempt from paying. This means that patients who use medical marijuana will be able to rely on their medication staying at a steady price and not be subjected to volatile changes in the market price of the now commercialized drug.
Qualifying for a California Medical Marijuana Card
To qualify for a California medical marijuana card, you’ll first need to speak to a licensed physician. This can be your primary doctor; a specialized 420 doctor at an evaluation clinic; or, for quicker, more streamlined access, you can use online services such as the one that MMJ Recs provides. During the evaluation, you’ll need to provide a history of your medical records along with the reasons why you believe that access to medical marijuana would be beneficial to you and your treatment plan. Common qualifying conditions include depression, anxiety, AIDS, migraines, cancer, insomnia, glaucoma and chronic pain. For a full list of the qualifying conditions, follow this link here.
Once you’ve been assessed and approved by a licensed physician of your choosing, then you’re recommendation letter and California medical marijuana card should arrive in the mail, complete with your full name, date of birth, patient ID, expiration date (you’ll need to apply for a renewal of your card annually), your doctor’s signature and an embossed seal. With this card, you’ll be given access to all the rights that were stated above. Just make sure that you keep it on you at all times to avoid any confrontation from police officers.
Medical marijuana is a life-changing drug and one that has helped countless people manage their conditions or assisted them on their road to recovery. So, after reading this article, if you feel like your life would be improved by access to MMJ, then know that you’re just a few clicks away from receiving a California medical marijuana card of your own.