Criminal Law

Crim. Law Journal Winter/Spring 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 1

RAISING THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA DEFENSE/IMMUNITY

On November 5, 1996, California enacted the Compassionate Use Act, otherwise known as Proposition 215, authorizing medical use of marijuana. Nineteen other states have followed suit. In a departure from its usual eclectic approach, the Criminal Law Journal is pleased to present this double issue replete with articles solely dealing with this single subject. The views and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Criminal Law Journal or the Criminal Law Section.

By Author Unknown

A. The "Mower Motion"

Although it is legal for qualified patients to cultivate, process, use, transport, distribute, and sell medical marijuana pursuant to California law, persons engaged in those activities routinely find themselves facing criminal charges. In 1996 California voters enacted Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act. The CUA added section 11362.5 to the Health and Safety Code and provides that once a person obtains a physician’s recommendation or approval for the therapeutic use of cannabis, that person becomes a "qualified patient" and is therefore not subject to criminal sanction for the crimes of possession, cultivation, and transportation1

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