Proposition 215: Text of Proposed Law
Proposition 215 was approved by California voters on November 5, 1996 and went into effect on November 6, 1996. 
Detailed county-by-county election results of Prop. 215 appear below. 

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This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution.

This initiative measure adds a section to the Health and Safety Code; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.

PROPOSED LAW

SECTION 1. Section 11362.5 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
    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.

SEC. 2. If any provision of this measure or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the measure that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this measure are severable.

 


 
Chris Conrad & his wife Mikki Norris at their California home in 1996

 

Community Action Coordinators for the 1996 California medical marijuana initiative

 

California Proposition 215 

Passed by 56% of California voters in November 1996

(More California votes than President Clinton or any other elected official got)

Now Section 11362.5 of the State Health and Safety Code


The text of the Prop 215 initiative follows:

Section 1. Section 11362.5 is added to the California Health and Safety Code, to read:

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 med-ical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the persons 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 im-plement a plan for the safe and affordable distribution of mari-juana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.

(2) Nothing in this act shall be construed to supersede legislation prohibiting persons from engaging in conduct that endangers others, nor to condone the diversion of marijuana for non-medical 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 act who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health or safety of that person.

Sec. 2. If any provision of this measure or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the measure which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this measure are severable.
 

 

California Attorney Gen. Releases Proposition 215 Guidelines

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

March-April 1997

On February 24, California Attorney General Dan Lungren released guidelines for the enforcement of state marijuana laws in context of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Proposition 215), which allows for the possession and cultivation of marijuana for medical uses (Information Bulletin (No. 97-BNE-01), "Peace Officer Guide: Compassionate Use Act of 1996, Section 11362.5 Health and Safety Code," California Attorney General's Office, February 24, 1997). For information, contact Tom Gorman at (916) 227-4044 or John Gordnier at (916) 3247-5169, California DOJ, Division of Law Enforcement.

The guidelines state: "It is not incumbent on a police officer to inquire whether the individual cultivating, possessing or using marijuana is doing so for medical purposes. It is the responsibility of an individual to claim that he/she has an affirmative defense under Proposition 215 as either a 'patient' or a 'caregiver.'" If the individual makes such a claim, "the officer should detain the person for the purpose of making those inquiries necessary to determine whether there is a legitimate affirmative defense." The guidelines suggest questions to ask to determine if the patient or caregiver is covered by the law, and if the patient has received a proper recommendation for marijuana by a physician. [The guidelines do not suggest making Miranda warnings and raise serious Fifth Amendment problems. -- EES]

According to the Attorney General, in order to be covered by the law, patients: (1) "Must be California residents." (2) "Must be seriously ill." Minor injuries and illnesses are not covered. Illnesses covered include cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, and migraines. (3) "Must have had an examination by a physician," and the physician must have recommended marijuana as a treatment. (4) "Must not be engaged in behavior that endangers others" and "cannot be involved in any diversion of marijuana for nonmedical purposes." (5) "Cannot cultivate or possess amounts greater than necessary for their personal medical needs."

As defined by the guidelines, a primary caregiver: (1) "Must be an individual specifically designated by the patient" and "the caregiver's role must have been established prior to the designation to be valid." (2) "Must have prior and consistent responsibility for the patient's housing, health, or safety." (3) "Is the only individual who can qualify for the specific patient" and "must have personal knowledge of the doctor's recommendation." Secondary or general caregivers may not assert the affirmative defense. (4) "Cannot engage in any conduct that endangers others" or "be involved in diversion of marijuana for nonmedical purposes." (5) "Cannot possess marijuana for sale or sell marijuana."

The guidelines conclude that officers should "abide by the spirit of the voters' narrow intention regarding Proposition 215," and take "special care not to violate anyone's rights or develop bad case law." In addition to the state guidelines, officers must also know their local district attorney's policies regarding Proposition 215, such as those being developed by San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan.

 

1996 General Election Returns for
Proposition 215 - Medical Marijuana
The number in each county indicates the percentage
of the vote cast as indicated by the color.
December 18, 1996
5,382,915       55.6% yes
4,301,960       44.4%  no
green = yes
red = no

http://www.drugsense.org/CCUA/  |  http://www.215now.com/links.htm  |  http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n730.a01.html  |  http://www.canorml.org/stats2/mjenforcecal.shtml  | http://www.marijuana.org/  | http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/2631/yeson215.html

Map of states that have legalized medical marijuana cultivation and use.

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