The First Requirement
To begin with, you have to be a qualifying patient or registered as a primary caregiver for you to be able to possess and use marijuana without running into trouble with the law. To become a qualifying patient, you have to be diagnosed as having a debilitating medical condition by a professional and fully qualified physician. They will provide you with a written certification stating this if it’s the case.
What Protections Do You Receive?
The law protects qualifying patients and primary caregivers from all of the state laws regarding the use, possession and manufacture of marijuana. This remains the case as long as you possess an amount of the drug that’s equal to or less than the prescribed statutory amount. You will have a registry identification card if you are a qualifying patient or their caregiver; you will need to be in possession of this if you are carrying marijuana.
Where Can You Use Medical Marijuana?
In terms of where you can use the marijuana, it’s best to stick to your home or the home of someone else who has given you permission to use it there. You are not allowed to use it in any school, correctional facility, public transport or any public place. It’s important to remember this because you’re not protected from the drug laws if you use it in those places.
About Growing Marijuana
If you are planning on growing your own marijuana plants for use, you need to know the rules surrounding this practice. The plants must be kept locked up in an enclosed place. The growth of the plants is only allowed for use by the qualifying patient. The caregiver can be paid for their assistance in growing and manufacturing the plants on the patient’s behalf.
Police Searches: What You Should Know
As long as you’re in possession of your registry identification card and you’re carrying an amount at or below the statutory proscribed amount of marijuana, local police will assume you’re engaged in the use of medical marijuana. As such, you won’t be treated as a criminal or placed under arrest. This also means that the police are not within their rights to search you without consent being given.
There have been cases in the past where valid holders of registry identification cards have got into trouble. But the affirmative defense is set out by the state and says that the defense of having medical purpose for the marijuana in their possession is a valid defense when they possess no more than a reasonable amount, their physician has stated their need for it bases on their medical history and the drug was being used only to treat the patient.
If you have more questions, or need some help, please contact our office. We’re always ready and willing to take on new clients.