California's Medical Marijuana Laws
The Compassionate Use Act is a voter initative, passed in 1996, that made California the first state to legalize cannabisfor medical use
This bill was passed in 2004 with the following purpose: "(1) Clarify the scope of the application of the act and facilitate the prompt identification of qualified patients and their designated primary caregivers in order to avoid unnecessary arrest and prosecution of these individuals and provide needed guidance to law enforcement officers. (2) Promote uniform and consistent application of the act among the counties within the state. (3) Enhance the access of patients and caregivers to medical marijuana through collective, cooperative cultivation projects."
Municipalities and counties in CA have chosen in some cases to create their own guidelines to further clarify the 1996 Compassionate Use Act and SB 420. This listing gives up-to-date guidelines for counties that have implemented them.
On April 6, 2005, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer stated that, "both generally and in the specific context of interpreting the Compassionate Use Act -- it is not the province of state courts to enforce federal laws."
This was not issued in a formal opinion, but in a footnote of a legal brief. Nonetheless, it clarifies the legal position of the highest authority in California.