What is California's medical marijuana law - the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996?

On November 5, 1996, the people of California passed Proposition 215. Through this Initiative Measure, Section 11362.5 was added to the Health & Safety Code, and is also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. The purposes of the Act include, in part:

"(A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where the medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person's health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief; and

(B) To ensure that patients and their primary caregivers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction."

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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