Press Release April 10, 2003
Compassionate Use Act (CUA) of 1996
On November 5, 1996, the voters of California through the initiative process, passed the Compassionate Use Act (CUA) of 1996. This act declared that the intent of the people of the State of California was:
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.
To ensure that patients and their primary care givers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction.
While the CUA clearly established the intent of the voters, it did not provide any guidelines to prosecutors, law enforcement officers, medicinal marijuana users or physicians as to circumstances under which the CUA would exempt a person from arrest or prosecution for possession or use of marijuana. In an effort to develop guidelines based upon legitimate medicinal need and the practicalities of obtaining marijuana for medicinal purposes, El Dorado County District Attorney Gary Lacy and El Dorado County Sheriff Jeff Neves have spent over a year in numerous meetings with medical doctors, advocates for medicinal marijuana users and local law enforcement officials. Through these meetings, District Attorney Lacy and Sheriff Neves have developed some guidelines for the public to assist them in understanding the circumstances under which marijuana may be grown, possessed or used by those who have a legitimate medicinal need for marijuana as well as their care givers This information will assist not only those individuals who use marijuana medicinally, but will also provide guidance to physicians recommending the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes as well as law enforcement officers enforcing our drug laws.
The following is the policy which has been adopted for the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana within the intent of the CUA for El Dorado County:
Outdoor Cultivation (per patient - with a physician's recommendation):
March 1 through July 31 of each year 20 marijuana plants
August 1 through October (harvest) 10 marijuana plants
Processed marijuana (per patient):
September 1st through February 28 Up to two (2) pounds
March 1st through August 31st Up to one (1) pound
Indoor Cultivation (per patient - with a physician's recommendation:
On any given day:
Ten (10) marijuana plants in "flower" stage
One (1) "mother" marijuana plant
Ten (10) "clones" / vegetative marijuana plants
No more than one (1) pound of processed marijuana
Note: Patients or care givers cultivating marijuana for an authorized patient may not maintain an outdoor cultivation and an indoor cultivation at the same time.
Written physician's recommendation should include the following information:
Date of issue
Physician's name, address and phone number
Requires annual renewal
It is recommended that copies of physician's recommendations be posted at the garden site(s) and on file with law enforcement (WENET).
Primary Care Giver:
May grow for:
Members of care giver's household - with physician's recommendation(s).
No more than three (3) patients outside care giver's household - with physician's recommendation(s).