At Green Doctor Evaulations, "Your Health Care is Our Priority"
Get Physician Approval for a Medical Marijuana Card in Fresno CA.
Senate Bill 420 - Prop. 215 patients should begin by consulting with their own physicians about medical use of cannabis. If you don't have a
medical record of treatment for serious illness, you may not be eliigible for marijuana under Prop. 215. To qualify, patients must obtain a
physician's "recommendation" or "approval" (NOT prescription) to use marijuana (SAMPLE recommendation form ). No official registration is
required. Marijuana can be recommended for ANY serious condition for which it provides relief; over 250 uses have been reported.
Many physicians wrongly fear that they can be prosecuted under federal law for recommending marijuana medically. The Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals has upheld a permanent injunction by the U.S. District Court in Northern California forbidding the government from punishing
California doctors for recommending marijuana, provided they do not get involved in its distribution or sales. The US Supreme Court has
upheld the Ninth Circuit's ruling (Conant v. Walters: Oct. 15, 2003). Physicians are accordingly free to recommend marijuana for their patients,
so long as they don't actually assist them in obtaining it (see California NORML's Medical Marijuana Guidlines for Physicians). Over 1500
California physicians have recommended medical marijuana under Prop. 215. None have been federally prosecuted for doing so.
Fresno Medicinal Marijuana Doctor, Physician and Health Clinic, Green Doctor Evaulations of Fresno, Marijuana Recomendations 559.440.0420
Medical marijuana doctors, physicians, and health clinics for medicinal cannabis ID cards located in Fresno, California.
Hours: Mon - Sat 11am - 7pm
770 W. Bullard Ave
Fresno, CA 93704
Proposition 215 has created a new exemption from criminal penalties for the medical use of marijuana. This webpage will provide a
general description of how that exemption applies to Californians (this format was adapted from a handout brochure). It represents the
best of our knowledge as of the date printed above. Be sure to speak with a lawyer for an up-to-date interpretation and any specific
questions about your own situation.
Prop. 215 does not legalize marijuana. It changes how certain people - medical patients and their "primary caregivers" - will be treated by
the State of California's court system. Patients with a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana in medical treatment have a new legal
defense available to them.
If arrested on marijuana charges, patients can claim entitlement to an exemption from the law. The burden of proof is largely on the
patient, to prove his or her medical need and to prove that marijuana was used with the recommendation of a doctor. Because
compliance is so important, take time to understand the new law.
Who is affected by Prop. 215?
Proposition 215 was designed to protect seriously and terminally ill patients from criminal penalties for using marijuana medically. Only
people with their doctor's recommendation to use marijuana in medical treatment can take advantage of Prop. 215 as a legal defense
against marijuana charges.
A doctor must judge whether marijuana is appropriate for treatment of a specific illness. Most of the people who use marijuana as a
medicine suffer from cancer, AIDS, or glaucoma, while some people report that it helps treat symptoms of epilepsy and other diseases in
which muscle spasms or seizures are common. But simply having one of these diseases does not automatically qualify anyone for the
marijuana exemption under Prop. 215. Only a doctor's recommendation can do that.
For what diseases is marijuana useful?
Marijuana has been used for centuries by doctors all over the world. Some conditions for which marijuana was formerly a common
treatment, such as simple pain relief, are now treatable by other, more effective, medications. In other cases, marijuana, alone or in
combination with other drugs, remains an effective treatment.
•Nausea reduction in cancer and AIDS patients. The most common medical application of marijuana is for the reduction of extreme
nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy and AIDS treatment. Patients facing such treatments often find that just a small amount of
marijuana - whether inhaled, baked into foods or consumed in liquids - can immediately quell nausea or even prevent its onset. Several
scientific studies in the late 1970s and early 1980s showed marijuana's value for reducing cancer patients' nausea.
•Increasing appetite. Marijuana also reportedly increases appetite for patients with nausea or other conditions, permitting more normal
food intake and preventing dangerous weight loss. This is particularly important to patients with AIDS "wasting syndrome."
•Reducing eye pressure in glaucoma patients. Glaucoma is a progressive disease of the eye which can lead to blindness. It results from
a buildup of pressure within the eye. Marijuana reduces the pressure within the eye, holding off some of the damage.
•Controlling muscle spasms, seizures and chronic muscular pain. Marijuana is also used medically by patients with epilepsy, multiple
sclerosis, arthritis, spinal cord injuries and other conditions which are characterized by muscle spasticity, seizures and severe chronic
What about the pill form of marijuana?
There is a pill form of one chemical in marijuana, THC, available by prescription under the trade name Marinol. Marinol's use is currently
restricted to only cancer and AIDS treatment.
For some people, Marinol works fine, at least for a while. But for many patients, it is too expensive - costing up to $30,000 a year - or too
powerful. Some patients say that this highly concentrated psychoactive drug "knocks them out," as opposed to marijuana in its whole
form, which permits dosage to be better controlled, with milder effects.
How do I get a marijuana prescription?
Even though Prop. 215 is now law, it is still not possible to get a standard prescription for marijuana from a doctor. Pharmacies cannot
carry marijuana, due to federal laws that ban the drug.
Instead, Prop. 215 permits doctors to make recommendations for medical marijuana use, either in writing or verbally. Never should a
marijuana recommendation be made lightly. If you are arrested and charged with a marijuana offense, the doctor may be required to
testify on your behalf. For this reason, the doctor needs to be clear about the rationale for the recommendation, and should monitor the
patient's progress carefully. It is best to be conservative and cautious in obtaining the recommendation and in trying to keep it valid.
Can a doctor's recommendation expire?
Yes. For as long as the marijuana-recommending physician is in charge of the patient's care, and for as long as the physician continues
to believe marijuana is helpful, the patient is protected under California law from criminal penalties for marijuana. However, if a patient
changes doctors, or if the recommending doctor changes his or her opinion of marijuana's importance to treatment, the patient may not
be protected any longer. Common sense suggests that the recommendation must be current to be valid when used as a legal defense,
and therefore should be periodically renewed by the physician.
How can patients buy marijuana?
For the near future, most patients have to rely on the black market for marijuana. The acts of selling or buying marijuana remain illegal,
but a patient who possesses marijuana upon a doctor's recommendation is protected from criminal penalties for possession. "Cannabis
buyers' clubs" may be an option for some. There is no fully legal means available to buy marijuana, but, in some cities, these clubs
operate under some supervision by local authorities. These facilities typically require patients to provide written, verifiable documentation
of their physician's recommendation to use marijuana. If the operators are satisfied that a person has a true medical need, they will
register the patient and permit that person to buy marijuana at the club.
Can I grow marijuana?
•Yes. Under Prop. 215, the cultivation of marijuana plants for the personal, medical use of a patient is permitted. However, the seeds
necessary to begin cultivating marijuana are no more legal or available than before. Again, a patient must go to the black market for
seeds or seedlings, and the transaction itself is still illegal. Cultivation remains a felony in most cases under state and federal law. A
person arrested and charged under state law has the right to use a Prop. 215 defense. Federal agents are believed to be unlikely to
arrest and prosecute small-time growers of marijuana for medical use, because small-scale cases are not a high priority to federal law
enforcement. Still, prosecutions by federal agencies are possible.
•Cultivation guidelines. It is important to take steps to keep any medical marijuana cultivation within the boundaries suggested by Prop.
215. First off, grow no more marijuana than you need for personal consumption. There is no concrete standard for numbers of plants
under Prop. 215. Generally speaking, a few healthy plants should satisfy a patient's needs. Do not distribute or sell marijuana under any
circumstances to anyone - especially non-patients. Any evidence of distribution puts a person at very high risk. A Prop. 215 defense will
not work for someone who distributes or sells any amount of marijuana, because the new law applies only to a patient's personal, medical
supply. If prosecutors discover evidence of sale or distribution, they are likely to charge a person with felony counts that could result in
years of prison time, regardless of that person's medical condition or medical authorization to use marijuana.
If I'm caught, how does 215 protect me?
If you are caught with marijuana that you are using with a doctor's authorization, you will have a few opportunities to prove that you are a
legal, medical user of the drug. Though Prop. 215 does not specifically prevent arrests, police officers are now being trained in ways to
determine legitimate medical use versus illegal, social use, when they discover a person with marijuana. You can make a policeman's job
easier, and protect yourself, by carrying written documentation of your medical need for marijuana, including a copy of your doctor's
recommendation, if it is in writing.
If a police officer has any reason to doubt that a patient is using marijuana -- or cultivating it -- for only personal, medical use, the officer
is free to make an arrest. On November 6, 1996, the Attorney General issued broad guidelines for officers to help determine who has a
legitimate medical-use claim under Prop. 215. These guidelines can also be helpful to patients. In part, officers have been instructed to
ask about or investigate:
•the person's status as patient or caregiver, and the documented medical condition of the patient in question;
•the name of the physician who has ordered marijuana use; * quantity and packaging of the marijuana; and
•the presence of pay/owe documents, weapons, police radio scanners, or other evidence of conduct associated with drug dealing.
If you are a legitimate, medical user of marijuana, and are arrested despite attempts to prove that you are exempt from the law, you will
still have opportunities to avoid prosecution.
Most legitimate cases of patients and specified caregivers facing charges for strictly medical use of marijuana should be dismissed
before proceeding to trial. Local police investigators or prosecutors ought to be able to determine, from evidence presented by arrested
persons, who is and who is not entitled to an exemption from the marijuana laws under Prop. 215. Some cases may go to trial, in which
case the patient and physician involved should expect to testify under oath about the reasons for the patient's medical marijuana use.
Who qualifies as a "caregiver?"
Prop. 215 was designed primarily to protect patients from prosecution for medical use of marijuana. However, the new law recognizes that
some patients may be in such ill health that a family member or close friend may need to obtain and possess marijuana for that patient.
Or, a patient may live with someone who could be subject to criminal or civil charges for the patient's marijuana kept on the same
property. In this spirit, so-called "primary caregivers" to medical marijuana patients are also exempted from marijuana charges.
So who is a "primary caregiver?" The Prop. 215 text defines such a person as "the individual designated by the ... [patient] who has
consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health or safety of that person." The fact that a person must have "consistently
assumed responsibility" for the patient's welfare could narrow the definition of "primary caregiver" considerably.
Family members, very close friends and roommates of patients will fit under this definition most readily. The best advice at this time is to
be conservative in designating a caregiver or in considering yourself to fit under the new law's definition. Ultimately, a judge may have to
decide each case on its individual merits.
Banned activities for marijuana patients:
•Prop. 215 does not give a broad freedom to medical marijuana patients to use marijuana anywhere, any time.
•Prop. 215 contains a provision ensuring that "conduct that endangers others" remains illegal. Such conduct is likely to include driving
under the influence of marijuana, operating heavy machinery, or other similar activities, in which there is a realistic risk that a person's
marijuana use could impair judgment and lead to harm to other people. Courts would probably also consider smoking marijuana in public
or in the workplace to be a danger to others, permitting sanctions against anyone for doing so.
A warning to all marijuana users:
Prop. 215 was designed to protect a specific class of people - the seriously and terminally ill. It does not apply to recreational users of
marijuana who simply feel they get some "medical" benefit. It does not even apply to terminally ill patients who fail to get their physicians'
approval. Prop. 215 enables the courts to sort out who is entitled to these new protections, and who is not. Every detail, from proof of
illness to the form and reasons for a marijuana recommendation, is a potential weak link in a person's case