Medicinal Cannabis

FAQs including Caregiver Information

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CANNABIS

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If you feel your pain specialist has wrongfully denied prescription medication to you for using medical marijuana, refer here.

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Cannabis recommendations are not covered by insurance. You will need to bring cash or cashier’s check at the time of your visit.

To qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation the law requires:

  • you must be at least 18 years old and a California State resident
  • you need to bring documentation with you to your first visit and any return visits. This includes:a copy of your records from your treating doctor that supports your diagnosis of a chronic condition,
    the history and severity of this problem
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    proof that a medical doctor has been actively overseeing this condition within the last year.

    a copy of x-ray reports, chemistry studies, or any studies that

    pertain to this condition.

    The reason for this is to evaluate if the condition has changed or progressed, has a new treatment, or no longer exists.

  • you must bring a valid state-issued ID or Driver’s License
  • you must not be on parole or probation, or currently involved in court proceedings regarding drug use or drug sale.*
  • you must fill out a history form and sign a release
  • you will then undergo a physical evaluation by myself and, if approved, I will give you the recommendation.
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Included in my fee are the following:
Consultation
Recommendation for up to one year (if the patient’s use of medical cannabis is appropriate under the California law and the patient has met all my other requirements)
Brief telephone conferences with law enforcement, attorneys, employee health officers, etc, as needed, to verify validity of the recommendation. (this alone may save the patient considerable expense for fees for providing court testimony)  While this is not my favorite thing, it underscores the importance of good documentation with records from your treating physician.
Adequate knowledge of the medical and legal aspects of cannabis so as to be able to testify in support of my patient in a court of law, and the willingness to do so.

NOT included in my fee:
Travel to and testifying in court or any other legal proceedings.
Written reports, disability evaluations.


  • For information on California State patient ID card, check here. For San Diego County, check here.
    One benefit of the state ID card is that law enforcement will be able 24 hours a day to verify that you have a valid recommendation for medical marijuana use.
    My office cannot provide 24 hour verification.

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I cannot help you purchase any marijuana nor can I recommend any dispensary, cooperative or collective. For those who are disabled, you may wish to look for dispensaries that have delivery services. Although many are operating in legal accordance with state and local law, the sale of medical cannabis remains strictly illegal under federal law, and the DEA has conducted scores of raids against medical cannabis businesses.

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It is not legal to share your drug with others. Under state law,  the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Prop. 215) patients and their “primary caregivers” are protected from criminal prosecution under state law for personal possession and cultivation of marijuana, but NOT for distribution or sale to others.

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Caregiver

It is up to a patient if they wish to designate a caregiver. The decision to have a caregiver is between the patient and the caregiver. It is not a medical decision.

A  “primary caregiver” is narrowly defined under Prop. 215 to be “the individual designated [by a legal patient] who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person.”  The law does not explicitly allow patients to have multiple caregivers. In contrast, a caregiver may serve more than one patient.

I advise patients to make their own document that follows this form:
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I, _________________________patient’s name, designate ________________caregiver’s name, as my primary caregiver.
Signed by the patient___________________________ Date____________________
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I recommend that the patient have the document notarized.
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The law further says that it is not enough to only grow the patient’s cannabis.  The caregiver must consistently provide other help to the patient which could include such things as housework, shopping, making meals, etc.  The caregiver must provide some other service than providing the medicine.
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  • It is not legal to drive while intoxicated.
  • It is not legal to smoke while operating any motor vehicle, on land or otherwise! When transporting medicine, keep it in the trunk!!
  • If there is no trunk, keep the medicine out of sight and out of reach of the driver to prevent any suspicion of DUI
  • It is not legal to smoke or grow within 1000 ft of a school, daycare, or school bus stop.
  • It is not legal to buy or sell marijuana, even under state laws!!  To avoid the appearance of of intent to sell, patients should keep their medicine in the original container.  Do not divide quantities!  The presence of scales, multiple packages of medicine, large amounts of cash may give police the evidence they need to charge someone with intent to distribute.

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*Can I use medical marijuana while on probation or parole?

According to CA NORML, Yes, unless the judge specifies that you cannot under the terms of your probation, which you may appeal.

You can request that the judge affirm your use of medical marijuana or modify the terms of your probation to allow medical marijuana use. See Section 11362.795 of SB420

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~~~~~The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider. ~~~~~

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