How is California dealing with Prop 215?


Q – How is California dealing with Prop 215?

A - As to securing patients, their caregivers and physicians from criminal prosecution or sanction, Proposition 215 has been a mixed bag. Immediately following its passage, the feds publicly threatened to revoke the DEA license of any physician who prescribed marijuana. Not a group to take threats gently, physicians won a speedy injunction in federal court on 1st Amendment grounds to protect themselves against DEA action, but the chill had already set in. To this day, despite a federal court order protecting the confidentiality of doctor-patient communications, many legitimate physicians fear writing prescriptions for medical marijuana. Patients, however, have proved easier pickings for law enforcement set on business as usual. While most patient prosecutions have been stopped in the earliest phases, raids, arrests, confiscations and legal retainers are forms of “sanction” in their own right. This issue was addressed six years after Proposition 215 passed, when Gov. Gray Davis signed SB 420, the Medical Marijuana Protection Act, which established an identification card system for medical marijuana patients. The ID cards give police the confidence that is necessary to walk away from a medical marijuana patient. Even though some counties are still resisting implementing the ID system, I would consider SB 420 a confirmed success.​

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