What are Proposition 215 (Prop 215), the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and Senate Bill (SB) 420?
Prop 215 is another term for the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Prop 215 was the first statewide medical marijuana measure voted into law in the United States. Prop 215 provides protections to seriously ill persons who have their doctor’s recommendation to use marijuana for medical purposes. Prop 215 also provides protections to the physicians and primary caregivers who assist these seriously ill persons, who are known as “qualified patients” under SB 420 (Chapter 875, Statutes of 2003). SB 420 was enacted into the Health and Safety Code of California (Sections 11362.7 through 11362.83) to address problems with Prop 215. SB 420 requires the California Department of Health Services to create the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP). The state MMP is responsible for developing and maintaining an online registry and verification system for Medical Marijuana Identification Cards or “MMICs.” MMICs are available to qualified patients and their primary caregivers. The intent of SB 420 is to help law enforcement and qualified patients by creating a form of identification for qualified patients that is official and uniform throughout the State. The online registry allows law enforcement to verify that a MMIC is valid. For more information see the State MMP’s home page.
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