The Los Angeles Medicinal Marijuana Program is one that has greatly expanded over the past five years. As more and more doctors become part of this growing network, and as more and more research institutes are able to produce clinical studies on the benefits of medicinal marijuana, more and more ailments are being approved for it to effectively treat.
Tantamount to these efforts is progress. A good idea of this progress can be realized when one analyzes how many different conditions medical cannabis is approved to treat in Los Angeles, a number that currently is more than 150. If you ever wondered about what some quick facts were regarding the Los Angeles Medicinal Marijuana Program, these 10 should keep you well informed about it.
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Top 10 Factoids About the Los Angeles Medicinal Marijuana Program
1. Proposition 215 legalizing a Los Angeles medicinal marijuana program was originally passed in 1996, called the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.
2. In 2003, this proposition was amended as Senate Bill (SB) 420 (Chapter 875, Statutes of 2003), which created dispensaries and a marijuana card program in LA.
3. The Los Angeles Medicinal Marijuana Program is administered, tracked and funded by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
4. Senate Bill 420 requires that this medical marijuana program be paid for by the application fees charged for each card by the state.
5. Per the CDPH guidelines, “Upon obtaining a recommendation from their physician for use of medicinal marijuana, patients and their primary caregivers may apply for and be issued, a Medical Marijuana Identification Card.”
6. Per CDPH specs for the fiscal year of 2011, there are more than 52,549 Los Angeles medical marijuana cards in use that are valid for one year.
7. Only licensed doctors or LA marijuana clinics and medical offices can recommend patients for an Los Angeles cannabis card.
8. Per state of California law, “seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes” and 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.” (Calif. Health & Safety Code 11362.5 (b)) Patients and/or their primary caregivers may possess no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana and/or six mature (or 12 immature) marijuana plants.”
9. Minors who are suffering from covered illnesses can be approved for a medical marijuana card in Los Angeles, but they must meet specific requirements that are set by the state, which can vary by county.
10. Only holders of a valid card are protected from legal prosecution by the state. Federal law still prohibits using marijuana for any reason and classifies it as a schedule 1 drug. However, it’s highly unlikely that any person would be prosecuted for using medical marijuana in LA by the feds, as they don’t police residents of states in the union.