Medical Marijuana Laws in Orange County, California

If you were accused of possessing, growing, or selling marijuana, you could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the amount of drugs found in your possession. However, what happens if you were growing the marijuana for medical purposes? Since 1996 in California, it has been legal to possess, use, and cultivate marijuana if you are suffering from certain medical conditions. These illnesses include AIDS, chronic pain, migraines, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and more. However, even though its use is completely legal, there are still misunderstandings and false arrests.

Proposition 215 and Senate Bill 420 allow users to possess up to eight ounces of dried marijuana or up to twelve immature plants (6 mature). It also allows those with a prescription to secure marijuana from licensed doctors. If you thought you were acting in accordance with the law yet were still placed under arrest, you could be facing harsh penalties. A conviction of marijuana cultivation could be categorized as a felony and result in three years in prison. Illegal sale of marijuana could also result in a felony conviction and up to four years in prison.

MMIC Qualification Standards

In order to qualify for a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC), a patient must be recommended by a licensed and approved medical doctor. Possession of one of these cards signals that you are allowed to possess marijuana per the compassionate use act and Senate Bill 420. It may be helpful to carry this card at all times in order to avoid false accusations. In order to be qualified to receive a MMIC, you must be diagnosed with one of the qualifying "serious medical conditions" which are laid out in SB 420 and are described as those that "may cause serious harm to the person's safety, physical, or mental health." Once you qualify for a MMIC, you must visit your local County Public Health Department to receive one. It is purely at the discretion of the patient to obtain a card or not. All that is required is a physician letter that recommends the use of medical marijuana.

If you do wish to apply for an MMIC, you will have to show proof of certain documentation. According to the CDPH (California Department of Public Health), a patient must fill out an application form, must apply in the county of residence, bring a copy of a doctor recommendation, driver's license or other type of photo ID and proof of residency. Proof of residency can be a utility bill, DMV registration or the like. Understand that an MMIC will only be valid for one year, after which point you will need to submit an application for renewal. If you receive an MMIC in California, it is valid in any other California county but may not be valid in other states. For more information on this, check with your local Public Health Department.

More questions? Contact an Orange County criminal lawyer!

In order to protect yourself and your freedom, your first step should be to contact a lawyer from the firm if you were arrested. With over 30 years of criminal defense experience and with a former deputy district attorney on their side, you can have peace of mind knowing that they are on your side fighting to get your charges dropped. If you have any more questions regarding your drug crime case and how you can defend yourself, please do not waste any time in getting in touch with a member of the team.

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