California's Medical Cannabis Guidelines
By Ron S. Niehouse, Executive Director (Medical Cannabis Journal) (California)
Sacramento, California--In August of 2008 California's Attorney General: Jerry Brown released the updated-version of what is referred to as, "The Guidelines for the Security and Non-Diversion of Marijuana Grown for Medical Use".
Proposition 215 was enacted in 1996 by a large margin. Allowing access to medical Cannabis for patients who are compliant and have a written recommendation by a physician along with a valid California Drivers License or Identification Card. A medical cannabis recommendation must be provided by a licensed physician, permitting patients to legally transport and cultivate cannabis under California State Law. These state by state compassion laws are very different in comparrison to places like Canada and Israel. Being that in the United States, medical canbabis is not a federal exemption. Here in the U.S., it is federally-illegal, with confusion within law-enforcement and citizens alike.
It appears as if our governments, local and national will use any excuse to keep us from the real and total truth. However this will not stop us, we have proven over time that the citizens will bring truth as nobody else can or will. Free thinkers and compassionate souls will alwys end up in a forward motion. This makes it aerodinamic and natural for freedom to always take the lead and finish first, even when having the last word.
Following Prop 215 (which was codified in 1996) California established S.B. 420 in 2004, allowing verified-patients and caregivers access to collectively-grown Cannabis. To be in accordance with California State Law, the collective or co-op will need to provide substantial evidence proving that there are no illegal profits being generated by the distribution of medical marijuana. Concerning medication grown for members of the establishment: The establishment must also... 1) Ensure that cannabis grown for medical purposes remains secure and does not find its way into non-patient hands or illicit markets motivated by profit. 2) Help law enforcement agencies and officials perform their civil duties both effectively and in accordance with California Law. 3) Help patients and primary-caregivers understand how they may cultivate, transport, posses, and use medical cannabis under California Law.
California is not completely alone when referring to medical cannabis and the misconceptions and wide range of issues that come with it. There are now fourteen states with some form of medical cannabis program. Even though each of the fourteen states have various laws and are not syncopated in their development of safe access California still remains the leader of the medical marijuana movement and their model of regulation far exceeds any other medical cannabis programs to date. Although the movement is gaining traction big media has caused an uproar of national attention due to the fact that The Federal Government still ignores any clinical-studies or testing not sanction by the United States. To obtain medical cannabis in the United States for testing and research there is only one institution with the permission to distribute in the U.S.; that is, The University of Mississippi. The United States Federal Government has made it nearly impossible to obtain quality medical cannabis for research; Therefore, We The People must rely on other countries with more advanced technology for study in this field and look to those not bought and sold by corporate conglomerates directly under the wing of abominable organizations like Pfizer, Roche, and Watson, allowing for the advancement of medical research along with variable alternatives of titrating and administering medicinal cannabis.
The information compiled by countries like Holland and Spain have recently been taken serious by scientists around the globe. This is the kind of research and direction, the United States Government shy away from and seems to avoid at all costs. The United States Government distorts the truth, deceives and blatantly uses propaganda as a weapon to spread misinformation. The United States Federal Government will continue to lie, cheat and steal to fuel their vicious War on Drugs. We the people must rise as we have all been effected by this war, rather you realize it or not. The last thing in the world The U.S. Government is concerned with is your children, health,safety or sanity. They refuse to acknowledge that the War on Drugs is an utter-failure and has always been deeply influenced by the endless revenue of pharmaceutical companies, tobacco and of course the alcohol industry. Most people do not realize that Anheiser Busch along with Phillip Morris contribute millions every year to keep the laws of cannabis prohibition in place, even if it would saved hundreds of thousands of our friends and family's lives. The fact that the United States has made it a crime to grow a fiber, paper fuel and much more from hemp is evidence of this. Most United States sponsored studies have chosen to ignore all the evidence supporting the medicinal value of Cannabis. The use of cannabis as medicine is still illegal according to the United States Federal Government. It also remains classified as a Schedule I Narcotic, and is according to the United States Government completely unusable as medication. It mysteriously shares the same classification as Ecstasy and Quaalude. In many cases this is misleading the public into believing that benzodiazepines or morphine are safer than cannabis when in fact the truth is quite the contrary. Deception is a dangerous practice and in the end discredits the U.S. although there is an ongoing movement to properly reschedule cannabis. There seems to be little light at the end of the tunnel at this time.
We owe democratic legislation for bringing California to this point. We are now able to call Tax and Regulate 2010, prop 19. There has been unnecessary confusion between patients, caregivers and law-enforcement for too long and I have heard personally from police officers whom wish to be better informed on the medical cannabis laws in their own jurisdiction. One Riverside Sheriff Deputy I spoke to recently mentioned to me that he was part of a marijuana raid that was rendered illegal and cost the County of Riverside hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars. He still feels like his "fellow deputies are not well informed." He had also mentioned that he and the officers of whom he works with feel it is high time to re-legalize cannabis. His exact words being, "we see marijuana every day, and it is very difficult for us to recognize a legal medical marijuana recommendation from an Illegal one." He mentioned one time he was presented with a hand-written note, actually written on a paper napkin, only to later find out that it was a legitimate recommendation. He then proceeded to make me aware that even the counties (MedicalMarijuana Identification Cards) have been counterfeited; therefore it is usually best to not enforce any action upon what he called "possible medical marijuana candidates." I do not feel that this is a normal policy; it appears to be the policy of a law enforcement agency that had made serious mistakes and have no real clear-cut information about MMJ unless they educate themselves. I don't feel the average Police Officer is spending much of their free time investigating California Medical Cannabis Law. Meanwhile, The United States Government is fighting a war waged against its own citizens. This atrocity continues to escalate and infringe on our civil liberties. Part of the legislation adopted in 2004 under S.B. 420, to allow collective dispensaries, includes a statute that requires that Attorney General: JerryBrown adopt "Guidelines to Ensure the Security and Non-Diversion of Cannabis Grown for Medical Use". (Health and Safety Code, 11362.81(d).1). To fulfill this mandate, it was published in August of 2008. The following guidelines (1) Ensure that cannabis grown for medical purposes remains secure and does not find its way to non-patients or illicit markets. (2) Help law enforcement agencies perform their duties effectively and in accordance with California Law, and (3) Assist patients and primary caregivers to understand how they may cultivate, transport, posses and use medical cannabis legally.
Please be aware that S.B. 420 has become questionable to say the least; Always consult your lawyer, this is to be used as a reference and not be considered for legal or medical advice. Medical Cannabis Journal encourages you to go to the Attorney General's website and download the document for yourself. Patients should be more aware and knowledgeable of their rights. Anyone who wishes to know more and I do encourage you to do so can grab the document free of charge from any computer with an internet connection. The document can download it at: http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/sourcefiles/brown_guidelines_aug08.pdf
*****please see what we are now able to call Proposition 19, The Tax and Regulate 2010 in California. Look into it and see what it has to offer.*****
There will be more posts on prop 19 soon.
We will be covering "prop 19" in our next issue, #2. We will have several debates by very well known people in the cannabis movement....We are excited to be able to bring this to you, our reders.
© This article is copyrighted by Medical Cannabis Journal 06-29-2010
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