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AB-223 Compassionate Use Act of 1996.(2011-2012)

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AB223:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 31, 2011

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 223


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Ammiano

February 02, 2011


An act to amend Section 11350 11362.79 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to controlled substances the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 223, as amended, Ammiano. Controlled substances. Compassionate Use Act of 1996.
Existing law, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, an initiative statute enacted by the approval of Proposition 215 at the November 6, 1996, statewide general election, authorizes the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Existing law enacted by the Legislature requires the establishment of a program for the issuance of identification cards to qualified patients so that they may lawfully use marijuana for medical purposes, and requires the establishment of guidelines for the lawful cultivation of marijuana grown for medical use.
This bill would make findings and declarations regarding medical marijuana, and provide that it is the intent of the Legislature to improve the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and the state’s medical marijuana program by establishing a comprehensive and multidisciplinary commission that is empowered to address issues regarding the legality and implementation of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and the state’s medical marijuana law.
Existing law provides that nothing in the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 authorizes a qualified patient or person with an identification card to engage in the smoking of medical marijuana under any of certain specified circumstances, including within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school, recreation center, or youth center, unless the medical use occurs within a residence.
This bill would revise that prohibition to provide that nothing in the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 authorizes a qualified patient or person with an identification card to engage in the smoking of medical marijuana under any of those specified circumstances, including within 600 feet of the grounds of a school, recreation center, or youth center, unless the medical use occurs within a residence or within a medical marijuana cooperative, collective, or dispensary.

Existing law provides that, except as otherwise provided, every person who possesses any of certain controlled substances, or any of other specified controlled substances which is a narcotic drug, unless upon written prescription, as specified, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison.

This bill would make a technical, nonsubstantive change to these provisions.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature hereby makes the following findings and declarations regarding the Compassionate Use Act of 1996:
(1) Marijuana’s recorded use as a medicine goes back nearly 5,000 years. A report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences published in March of 1999 found that modern medical research confirms the beneficial uses of marijuana in the treating or alleviating of pain, nausea, or other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS.
(2) Studies published since that 1999 IOM report have continued to show the therapeutic value of marijuana in treating a wide array of debilitating medical conditions. The relief marijuana provides to patients suffering from the neuropathic pain caused by multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and other illnesses that often fails to respond to conventional treatments, and the relief marijuana provides to patients suffering from the nausea, vomiting, and other side effects of drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C increases the chances that these patients will continue to engage in life-saving treatment regimens.
(3) Marijuana has many currently accepted medical uses in the United States, having been recommended by thousands of licensed physicians to at least 350,000 patients in states with medical marijuana laws. Marijuana’s medical utility has been recognized by a wide range of medical and public health organizations, including the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and many others.
(4) Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports and the Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics show that approximately 99 out of every 100 marijuana arrests in the United States are made under state law, rather than under federal law.
(5) State law should make a clear distinction between the medical and nonmedical uses of marijuana. Hence, the purpose of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their practitioners and providers, from criminal arrest and prosecution and other penalties and from property seizure and forfeiture, if those patients engage in the medical use of marijuana.
(6) The people of the State of California in 1996 enacted Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The Legislature in 2003 enacted Senate Bill 420, requiring the establishment of a program for the issuance of identification cards to qualified patients so that they may lawfully use marijuana for medical purposes and requiring the establishment of guidelines for the lawful cultivation of marijuana grown for medical use. These measures, however, left many issues about the lawful cultivation, sale, and distribution of medical marijuana, and the role of local government, under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 unaddressed or unclear.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to improve the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and the state’s medical marijuana program by establishing a comprehensive and multidisciplinary commission that is empowered to address issues regarding the legality and implementation of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and the state’s medical marijuana law.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11362.79 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

11362.79.
 Nothing in this article shall authorize a qualified patient or person with an identification card to engage in the smoking of medical marijuana under any of the following circumstances:
(a) In any place where smoking is prohibited by law.
(b) In or within 1,000 600 feet of the grounds of a school, recreation center, or youth center, unless the medical use occurs within a residence or within a medical marijuana cooperative, collective, or dispensary.
(c) On a schoolbus.
(d) While in a motor vehicle that is being operated.
(e) While operating a boat.

SECTION 1.Section 11350 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
11350.

(a)Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b) or (c), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance that is classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison.

(b)Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses any controlled substance specified in subdivision (e) of Section 11054 shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or in the state prison.

(c)Except as otherwise provided in this division, whenever a person who possesses any of the controlled substances specified in subdivision (a) or (b), the judge may, in addition to any punishment provided for pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), assess against that person a fine not to exceed seventy dollars ($70) with proceeds of this fine to be used in accordance with Section 1463.23 of the Penal Code. The court shall, however, take into consideration the defendant’s ability to pay, and no defendant shall be denied probation because of his or her inability to pay the fine permitted under this subdivision.

(d)Except in unusual cases in which it would not serve the interest of justice to do so, whenever a court grants probation pursuant to a felony conviction under this section, in addition to any other conditions of probation which may be imposed, the following conditions of probation shall be ordered:

(1)For a first offense under this section, a fine of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) or community service.

(2)For a second or subsequent offense under this section, a fine of at least two thousand dollars ($2,000) or community service.

(3)If a defendant does not have the ability to pay the minimum fines specified in paragraphs (1) and (2), community service shall be ordered in lieu of the fine.