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In 1996, California voters approved Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which exempted certain patients and their primary caregivers from criminal liability under state law for the possession and cultivation of marijuana for medicinal use. (Health & Saf. Code, § 11362.5.1) In 2003, the California Legislature enacted Senate Bill 420, the Medical Marijuana Program Act, which clarified requirements related to medical marijuana. Pursuant to the legislation, the Office of the Attorney General is required to adopt "guidelines to ensure the security and non-diversion of cannabis grown for medicinal use by patients qualified under the Compassionate Use Act." (§ 11362.81, subd. (d).)
To fulfill this mandate, the Office of the Attorney General is re-issuing and updating these guidelines to (1) ensure that cannabis grown for medicinal purposes remains secure and does not find its way to non-patients or illegal markets; (2) help law enforcement agencies perform their duties effectively and in accordance with California law; and, (3) help patients and primary caregivers understand how they may cultivate, transport, deliver, possess, and use medicinal cannabis under California law.
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