Pubdate: Thu, 16 Aug 2007
Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune (South Lake Tahoe, CA)
Copyright: 2007 Tahoe Daily Tribune
Author: Jeff Munson
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)


As of this week, adult pot smokers deemed to have "serious medical 
conditions" can apply for a county permit and pay an annual $114 fee 
to use the psychotropic drug legally with a doctor's prescription.

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors recently authorized the 
Public Health Department to locally implement the California Medical 
Marijuana Program.

The MMP is voluntary and intended to provide patients with an 
identification card that could be used as evidence that they have a 
physician's recommendation to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. 
In El Dorado County, the identification card program began Wednesday.

The California Department of Health Services established the MMP in 
2004 to facilitate the registration of qualified patients and their 
primary caregivers through a statewide identification system. The 
medical marijuana identification card can also assist law enforcement 
officials in determining whether individuals using marijuana meet the 
requirements of California's Compassionate Use Act, also known as 
Proposition 215.

The Compassionate Use Act exempts patients, their caregivers and 
physicians who recommend the use of marijuana for medical purposes 
from state criminal laws for the possession, use, transportation, 
delivery or cultivation of marijuana. However, the Act does not 
protect marijuana plants from seizure nor individuals from federal 
prosecution under the Controlled Substances Act.

To qualify for the MMP and apply for a medical marijuana 
identification card, an individual must be 18 years of age and older 
with a serious medical condition and certification from a physician 
indicating that medical marijuana is appropriate for their condition. 
Caregivers, whose patients meet the above criteria, are also eligible 
for the MMP. Identification cards are good for one year only. 
Applicants must re-apply, show proof of continued medical need, and 
pay the registration fee each year.

The cost of the medical marijuana identification card in El Dorado 
County is currently $114. Applicants with proof of current 
Medi-Cal/CMSP benefits will be charged $57. All fees are 
non-refundable, even if the application is denied. Applications for 
the MMP are available at the Emergency Medical Services Agency 
located at 415 Placerville Drive, Suite J in Placerville and may be 
picked up weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon and 1p.m. to 5 p.m. Completed 
applications will be accepted by appointment only.

For additional information on the MMP, please visit To schedule an appointment to return an 
application, or for further questions about the program or the ID 
cards in El Dorado County, please call (530) 621-6500. The Public 
Health Department plans to post additional information about the MMP, 
including downloadable application forms, on their Web site at by Sept. 1.



What is a "serious medical condition" that allows for medicinal use 
of marijuana?

"Serious medical condition" means all of the following medical conditions:

. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)

. Anorexia

. Arthritis

. Cachexia

. Cancer

. Chronic pain

. Glaucoma

. Migraine

. Persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, spasms 
associated with multiple sclerosis

. Seizures, including, but not limited to, seizures associated with epilepsy

. Severe nausea

. Any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that either: 1) 
Substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct one or more 
major life activities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities 
Act of 1990 2) If not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the 
patient's safety or physical or mental health. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake