Jan 142012
 January 14, 2012

California medical marijuanaCalifornia Needs To Recognize Out of State Medical Marijuana Cards

When it comes to medical marijuana policy, California has been the leader in almost every way. California was the first state in the nation to approve the legal use of medical marijuana and the first to have medical marijuana dispensaries. However, California is lacking in one area of medical marijuana. California doesn’t have any provision for out of state patient access to medical marijuana.

One would think that if states like Arizona and Montana have reciprocal agreements to honor other states’ medical marijuana patients that California would as well. Or even better yet, it would be better for out of staters if California had a provision like Oregon, where out of state residents can still get enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program. But, out of state patients are left to fend for themselves when visiting beautiful California.

Planning a trip to Orange County California? If so, you better bring your own medical marijuana, because the medical marijuana dispensaries in Newport Beach don’t sell to out of state patients (in theory!). I learned this lesson the hard way last time I was in California. I was in the Los Angeles area and went into several medical marijuana dispensaries. No matter what I told them about my long time enrollment in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP), they just gave me the ‘I’m sorry’ look and asked me to leave. I didn’t bring any medicine with me because I was always told how medical marijuana friendly California is, but apparently that was a different part of the state!

My friend Larry went to Hollywood, California to purchase medical marijuana once upon a time and he told me that he found a place that sells to out of state medical marijuana patients, but only after they got their California prescription in-house. I don’t know if this ‘pay to play’ deal exists elsewhere in California, but I couldn’t find it anywhere I was at this last visit. Any suggestions TWB readers in the Cali area? California is a top tourist destination, and who knows how many of those tourists are medical marijuana patients who are in need of safe access to medical marijuana.

Marijuana policy reform in California is a constant evolutionary process. There are efforts to legalize marijuana in California, to regulate it similar to wine, to put in place anti-medical marijuana discrimination in the workplace measures, etc. However, I never hear about anyone talking about opening up the program to patients visiting from other states. If California is going to stay the leader in medical marijuana policy in America, I really hope that the system will be fixed sooner than later.

Patients only risk a minor fine if they get caught in California with less than an ounce of marijuana, so it’s not as vital as in other harsher states. But with full protection not only would medical marijuana patients avoid all fines, it would also allow those patients to visit California’s endless supply of medical marijuana dispensaries. Which as a medical marijuana patient from Oregon who has visited California, I can say first hand the help would be greatly appreciated!

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • johnny1

    With the current push from the feds I do not see Ca honoring Ore card holders

    The “commerce” factor is the reason , crossing state lines .
    And the other I guess is the pink elephant. The fact that MJ is legal in 16 states

    When it is left up to different citys to implement safe access for they usually ban or zone out shops
    “not in my back yard”

    So its not the club owners ,its the FEds and they are watching the shops
    They are also seizing private patient records.names and addresses and transaction info.

    So when you come to cali next time the clubs might be gone.

    The Ca narco officers had a lunch entitled “how to eradicate medicalmarijuana”
    I cant believe these LEO And city attorneys are still trying to undermine
    MMJ

    look at Oakland ,SF I think the Fuds shut out the biggest shops

    So Is Medical weed legal or not?
    seems like every person in the world has different interpretation of prop 215
    and SB 420

    Time end Refer madness!!

  • Tim Bambam

    I go to California 3 or 4 times a year. Most of the time I go to L.A. I talked with a doctor who had an office on Venice Beach. I have chronic pain caused from Spinal Stenosis. It cause severe nerve damage. Anyway when I spoke with this doctor she told me that most despenserys in California do not recognize out of state patients. I asked her what would happen if I paid for a card from California. She told me that some places would sell to me but I would be taking my chances purchasing a card. I really think she was hoping I would buy the card.from her and oh well. She did tell me that the store she was affiliated with would not sell to someone from out of state.
    When I go to California I have friends who help me out by picking up a some extra medicine at the despencserys for me so I do not have to travel with it. So I guess from my experience I would say you will be wasting your money. Hopefully they will start dealing with the other states that have medical marijuana and will accept cards from other states. Hopefully things will start moving along for New York State to get medical marijuana as that is where I currently live.

  • Steve Kubby

    There is nothing in the Compassionate Use Act, otherwise known as Prop. 215, that requires the patient or physician to be California residents. The residency requirement was introduced fraudulently by Attorney General Dan Lungren who claimed that the use of the word “Calfiornians” implied only state residents. This appears in the introduction to the Act and is neither binding nor implied. The only reason that MCDs require state residency is that they “believe” they are safer from prosecution.

  • http://www.regulatemarijuanalikewine.com AFH

    The way I see it Regulate Marijuana Like Wine eliminates the problem you speak of. There are no laws against out of state people drinking a glass of wine. Matter of fact “Like Wine” establishes RIGHTS for people to use, posses and cultivate marijuana. Rights do not get bestowed by residency in our law, they are inviolably part of being a human being and that is exactly where the law belongs on this issue.

  • Wil

    The legal battles and raids will never end as long as it is only categorized as medical. Changing the drug status to Schedule 2 will only turn the natural plant into a oral extract or synthetic dispensed ONLY by pharmacies and supplied by pharmaceuticals. Legalize it! Tax it! Regulate it! for all responsible adults.

  • VeryGrateful

    My card has been accepted at all places in No Cal Im from michigan.