We’ve just updated our resource page outlining California Medical Marijuana Laws, so if you want technical, more detailed facts, read that. But if you want to know some good common courtesy and basic etiquette for using medical marijuana, read the following:
- Be Informed. Read and understand the laws and legal rights for medical marijuana patients and know the legal limits allowed in your county.
- THC stays in the blood and urine for hours and even days after smoking marijuana or ingesting marijuana edibles, liquids or cannabis-related products. So, if you’re going to be driving within 72 hours of use, drive carefully and don’t attract unnecessary attention to yourself. Make sure your vehicle is up to code, properly insured and registered, obey traffic laws, and keep the noise level down (exhaust pipes, loud music, etc.)
- Under no circumstances should you smoke marijuana and drive. Ever. If you are transporting cannabis, make sure you have your doctor’s recommendation or medical marijuana card (MMIC) with you at all times and that it is kept current.
- May seem obvious, but if you travel with marijuana medicine, keep it concealed, i.e. in the trunk, and keep hidden any signs of cannabis use. If left in the open, police can establish sufficient cause to search and seize.
- If traveling with marijuana, keep in air-tight, sealed container to avoid letting odor out. If law enforcement agents smell cannabis on you or in your car or home, it could create probable cause to search.
- If pulled over in a vehicle, do not offer your doctor’s recommendation or MMIC unless being cited for marijuana-related offense. Do not consent to a search or volunteer any information to authorities.
- Do not grow plants or leave harvested cannabis or marijuana equipment out in the open.
- Be aware that if you are arrested for a marijuana-related offense, police may have the right to search your property while you are in the booking process.
- Do not put any cannabis or marijuana related products in your garbage can. Law enforcement are allowed to search trash cans without consent or a warrant, and any cannabis related items will lead to probable cause for a search warrant of your residence.
- Lastly, do not smoke marijuana in public places, especially if children are nearby. In California, other prohibited places include:
- In any place where smoking is prohibited by law.
- In or within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school, recreation center, or youth center, unless the medical use occurs within a residence.
- On a school bus.
- While in a motor vehicle that is being operated.
- While operating a boat.
- Use common sense and be discreet, even if you might ‘legally’ be able to smoke. And, remember, same laws apply with smoking marijuana as with smoking tobacco. If it’s illegal to smoke a cigarette, it’s illegal to smoke marijuana.
These may seem like pure common sense guidelines, but we often get stories from medical marijuana patients who either don’t know or ignore medical marijuana laws and end up having to unnecessarily face criminal charges. Plus, not following common courtesy and basic advice only fuels the flames for medical marijuana opponents. Do your part, protect yourself and the community, and smoke smart.
We welcome comments! Also, feel free to contact United Patients Group directly for referrals, to locate a marijuana dispensary near you, or with any other questions regarding the legal rights of medical marijuana patients.