Who says you can’t change the world?
California’s Proposition 215 was the first statewide
medical marijuana voter initiative adopted in the USA.
It’s the law. Cannabis (marijuana) was listed in medical texts to treat over 100 different conditions, prior to its ban in 1937 over the objections of the AMA. Medical use is still allowed under the UN Single Convention Treaty on Narcotic Drugs. The California Supreme Court has ruled that marijuana is as legal as any prescription drug under State law.
Text of Prop 215 (Cal HS 11362.5)
Proposition 215 (HS 11362.5) was passed in 1996 by a 56% majority of California voters in November 1996. That is more California votes than Presidents Clinton, Bush or most other elected official have received.
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The National Academy of Science did a scientific review in 1999 for the federal Office of Narcotics Control Policy and documented legitimate medical uses for cannabis, but the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) still forbids its use. Meanwhile, the US government gives cannabis to seven patients in the Compassionate IND (Investigational New Drug) program. Eight states have legalized medical marijuana and allow patients to obtain, use and cultivate the herb. In May of 2001, the US Supreme Court ruled that state and federal laws do not need to conform with each other, leaving patients in legal Limbo. Prop 215 and all other state medical marijuana laws remain in effect.
Other States have followed suit. Since its passage, voters in five other states legalized medical marijuana through similar initiatives. These all require a doctor’s recommendation and include the right for patients to cultivate marijuana for their own use. Two elections were undermined by government officials and have not allowed the votes to be counted. See explanation below for more details.