Medical Marijuana Law and Legal Definition

Medical Marijuana refers to the use of cannabis or marijuana, including constituents of cannabis, THC and other cannabinoids, as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy. Only ten states in U.S have legalized the use of l marijuana for medicinal purposes. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana.

Example of a State Law ( California) on Medical Marijuana

The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 regulates medical marijuana in California. The Act ensures that under a physician’s recommendation, seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief. Any qualified patient or patients’ caregivers may possess or cultivate marijuana for personal medical use upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician. If not for medical purposes, cultivation or processing of marijuana is punishable by up to sixteen months in state prison.

The relevant law as it appears in the statute

Cal Health & Saf Code § 11362.5

Use of marijuana for medical purposes

(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.