Proposition 215, was codified at the California Compassionate Use Act. This law makes it legal for patients and their designated primary caregivers to possess and cultivate marijuana for their “personal” medical use given the recommendation or approval of a California-licensed physician.
In 2004, the State of California’s SB420 statute went into effect, which broadened the California Compassionate Use Act to exempt patients from criminal charges ranging from transportation, possession for sale, furnishing, and providing or leasing a place for distribution of a controlled substance. Further, SB 420 allows patients in certain circumstances to form medical cultivation “collectives” or “cooperatives” and established a voluntary state ID card system to run through county health departments.
Prop. 215 effectively exempts patients from criminal charges related to marijuana possession and cultivation for personal medical use. This includes marijuana infused products such as hash oil, concentrated cannabis, and edibles.
Under Prop. 215, patients are entitled to whatever amount of marijuana is necessary for their “personal” medical use. On the other hand, patients are likely to be arrested if they exceed the SB 420 guidelines. SB 420 sets a baseline statewide guideline of 6 mature or 12 immature plants, and 1/2 pound (8 oz.) processed cannabis per patient.
It is important to understand that just because you possess a valid 215 recommendation or ID card, you may still be charged with a serious felony related to possession for sale or manufacturing a controlled substance. First and foremost, Federal Law does not recognize medical marijuana as legal. Second, Prop 215 does not give you the right to possess marijuana in amounts that demonstrate you may be selling to a large market.
Currently, there has been an alarming increase in the use of butane and closed loop systems in order to produce mass amounts of hash oil. Many individuals believe that because they are Prop 215 patients, they can lawfully manufacture concentrated cannabis. This is not true. The courts have been handing down stricter punishments related to the manufacturing of honey oil since the use of butane canisters and tanks have caused explosions, catastrophic injury, burns, serious property damage, and death.
If you are arrested for a marijuana related offense, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an attorney today.