Medicine bottle with marijuana

CA Medical Marijuana Laws

In the state of California, anyone who has been instructed to use marijuana by licensed medical doctor may legally use cannabis and its extracts. A medical marijuana card is not required by law, but is recommended in order to prove a person is legally able to use, transport and possess marijuana within the state.

What to Know

A person is only allowed to posses a reasonable amount of marijuana. The current definition of what a reasonable amount of marijuana constitutes can be based on the person’s physical health and the recommendation of the prescribing physician. Anyone charged with marijuana possession should immediately contact a bail bondsman for assistance, particularly when the marijuana is prescribed by a physician. Because a medical marijuana card is not legally required, and a doctor may verbally prescribe marijuana to a patient, those with a prescription for medical marijuana may hire a lawyer to dispute any legal consequences of marijuana possession. If possible, all people with a prescription should obtain written proof of the prescription, and should have the written prescription on-hand whenever transporting, purchasing or using marijuana.

Tips for Patients and Caregivers

In addition to having a valid prescription, the following laws apply to medical marijuana users:

  • The user may not give away or sell marijuana.
  • It is illegal to use marijuana near schools, buses or in a vehicle while the vehicle is in use. Marijuana cannot be used while operating a boat.
  • Those with a prescription may posses up to eight ounces of marijuana, or up to 12 marijuana plants. The amount of marijuana in the possession of the person can also vary based on the doctor’s recommendations.
  • All marijuana extracts and condensed marijuana, such as hashish, must be produced in a manner that is allowed by law. For instance, chemical solvents cannot be used to produce marijuana products at home.
  • It is the patient’s responsibility to maintain a valid medical marijuana card.

Federal Laws and Laws for Caregivers Caregivers may possess and transport prescribed marijuana for another person in their care. A caregiver’s card is available to ensure caregivers aren’t subjected to prosecution for the illegal possession of marijuana. The caregiver’s card is typically provided by the prescribing doctor. Caregivers cannot use the marijuana intended for the patient, and should always carry their card whenever purchasing or transporting marijuana. Federal laws state that possessing, growing or transporting marijuana is illegal. In the state of California, it is recommended that all people who use medical marijuana abstain from taking the medicine onto federal grounds, such as federal courthouses. Residents of California should also avoid taking even small amounts of marijuana into neighboring states, as the penalties for transporting marijuana out of the state are harsher than simple possession of marijuana.

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