Long Beach Medical Marijuana Attorney
The Compassionate Use Act & Senate Bill 420
One popular topic for debate in California right now is the legalization
of marijuana, specifically medical marijuana. On November 5, 1996, approximately
half of all voters voted yes on Proposition 215, otherwise known as the
Compassionate Use Act of 1996. The act took effect the very next day and
stripped away criminal penalties for the possession, use, and cultivation
of marijuana by patients who received physician recommendation that he
or she would benefit from the use of medical marijuana. This allowed for
patients who were diagnosed with diseases that would benefit from use
of the drug to be legally protected; common conditions covered under the
- HIV or AIDS
- Chronic pain
In October 2003, the Compassionate Use Act was amended by Senate Bill 420,
which imposed stricter guidelines on how much marijuana patients could
possess, grow, and use. For example, under SB 420, patients are not allowed
to possess more than eight ounces of dried marijuana, six mature plants,
or twelve immature marijuana plants.
Again, there are gray areas where some patients may have more if his or
her physician recommends it. The bill also gives significant leeway to
counties and municipalities to impose their own ordinances should they
determine it is acceptable for patients to possess more.
Medical Marijuana Program (MMP)
The California Department of Public Health's Medical Marijuana Program
(MMP) was established to regulate and standardize medical marijuana identification
cards (MMIC) so that there could be a registry of qualified patients and
their caregivers. By having an MMIC, patients help law enforcement officers
to clearly identify them as being legally able to possess certain amounts
of marijuana under Prop 215 and SB 420.
If you are a qualified patient and would like to apply for your MMIC, fill
out an Application / Renewal Form and provide a copy of your physician's
recommendation, proof of identity, and proof of residence. You would then
apply in person to your county's program. While there, you will need
to pay a fee and have your photo taken.
Western State Law Review's Medical Marijuana Symposium
In April 2013, Attorney Leonard Matsuk took place in the Criminal Law Panel
at the Western State Law Review's Medical Marijuana Symposium where
lawyers, law students, various experts, and members of the community gathered
to discuss the many important issues surrounding medical marijuana. On
the Criminal Law Panel, he spoke about the issues that arise from marijuana
remaining illegal under federal law, but legal in certain states, such
It can also cause problems when one considers the harsh penalties for federal
drug crimes. The two other attorneys who spoke with him on the panel spoke
about the use of the medical marijuana affirmative defense in courtroom,
and the overall ambiguity of the defense. They also spoke about the unconstitutionality
of the federal enforcement of marijuana laws.
To read more about the symposium, please
read The Notice's article.
Drug Crime Attorney Serving Long Beach, California
If you have recently been arrested for the use, possession, or cultivation
of medical marijuana, do not hesitate to get the involvement of an experienced
Long Beach criminal lawyer from The Law Office of Leonard Matsuk. With more than three decades of
experience, we have the experience necessary to help protect your legal
rights; in fact, Attorney Leonard Matsuk has been AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
and was selected for inclusion in the
Southern California Super Lawyers® list of 2004 and 2005.
To learn more about how our firm can help you, simply
give us a call by dialing 800-935-8011 today!