Legal / Referrals

Referrals are made strictly for Medical Use *

  • Alternative Medicine Consultants (Dr. John Dimowo)
    3926 Grand Ave., Chino
    1881 Commercenter East, Suite 122 San Bernardino
  • Serenity Medical Evaluations (Zbignew Dvorak, M.D.)
    2200 Hamner Avenue, Suite #100 Norco, CA 92860
    (951) 751-1450
    Open Weds evenings and Sat mornings

General Legal Information about Medical Marijuana

PROP. 215, The California Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and S.B. 420, the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMP) was enacted by the voters and legislature, respectively, and are codified in Health & Safety Code 11362.5 and 11362.7 et. seq. While these laws do not generally remove criminal penalties for possession, cultivation or distribution of marijuana for the general public or for qualified patients, or members of collectives, cooperatives or associations composed of qualified patients or their designated primary-caregivers who have a physician’s recommendation or approval, these laws do provide a defense for what would otherwise be a crime. As interpreted by recent court decisions, the existence of these laws does not prohibit arrest or prosecution. The laws do, however, create criminal defenses to what otherwise would be a crime for possession, cultivation or distribution of marijuana. A defense is available as long as the qualified-patients or primary-caregiver complies with the applicable statutes. Guidelines suggesting proper roles, procedures and forms of associations employed by qualified-patients and primary-caregivers have recently been promulgated by the Office of the Attorney General of California. Attorney General Jerry Brown, by establishing guidelines for the operation of collectives or cooperatives, or other entities that comply with state law, signal a turning point in the effort to implement California’s medical cannabis laws and the culmination of years of persistence by the medical marijuana community. With these guidelines, patients may come together to operate various forms of associations for the purpose of collectively or cooperatively cultivating and distributing among themselves cannabis for medical purposes. The Attorney General’s guidelines also mention that “storefront-dispensaries” may be legal if property formed and operated. Presumably, this would also include a delivery-service providing medical marijuana to qualified patients who have formed an association for that purpose.


S.B. 420 establishes a baseline state-wide limit per patient of 6 mature or 12 immature plants, plus 1/2 pound (8 oz.) processed cannabis (hashish is also allowed). Patients can be exempted from these limits if their physician specifically states that they need more cannabis for their condition. In addition, individual cities and counties are allowed to enact higher, but not lower, limits than the state standard. The legality of the limits in S.B. 420 has been disputed in recent court cases. Prior to S.B. 420, Prop. 215 allowed patients whatever amount of marijuana they need for their medical purposes. In some court cases, patients have been acquitted for personal use gardens of 100 plants or more. Some Prop. 215 advocates maintain that S.B. 420 cannot constitutionally limit the amount patients may legally have for personal use. This issue remains to be settled in court. To be safe, anyone exceeding the limits is advised to get a physician’s exemption that states, the quantity recommended is consistent with the needs of the patients as it relates to the patients condition or illness.