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11362.5. (a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.
(b)(1) The people of the State of California hereby find and declare that the purposes of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 are as follows:
(A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.
(B) 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.
(C) To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede legislation prohibiting persons from engaging in conduct that endangers others, nor to condone the diversion of marijuana for nonmedical purposes.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no physician in this state shall be punished, or denied any right or privilege, for having recommended marijuana to a patient for medical purposes.
(d) Section 11357, relating to the possession of marijuana, and Section 11358, relating to the cultivation of marijuana, shall not apply to a patient, or to a patient’s primary caregiver, who possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician.
(e) For the purposes of this section, ”primary caregiver” means the individual designated by the person exempted under this section who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person.//e Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) was established to provide a voluntary medical marijuana identification card issuance and registry program for qualified patients and their caregivers. The web-based registry system allows law enforcement and the public to verify the validity of qualified patient or caregiver’s card as authorization to possess, grow, transport and/or use Medical Marijuana in California. To facilitate the verification of authorized cardholders, the verification database is available on the internet at www.calmmp.ca.gov.
In 2003, Senate Bill (SB) 420 (Chapter 875, Statutes of 2003) was passed as an extension and clarification of Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. The Medical Marijuana Program, within CDPH, is administered through a patient’s county of residence. 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. Senate Bill 420 also required that the MMP be fully supported through the card application processing fees. Both the state and the counties have authority to cover their costs for the program through these application fees.///THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (1) On November 6, 1996, the people of the State of California enacted the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (hereafter the act), codified in Section 11362.5 of the Health and Safety Code, in order to allow seriously ill residents of the state, who have the oral or written approval or recommendation of a physician, to use marijuana for medical purposes without fear of criminal liability under Sections 11357 and 11358 of the Health and Safety Code. (2)

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