In 1996 the People of the State of California voted for Proposition 215 which gave us the right to grow, use and possess cannabis for medicinal purposes. Prop 215 gave us the right to grow and use whatever we medically need. But what if you don’t know how to grow your own plants? What if you are green thumb dumb? There was no patient to patient vehicle within prop 215 so that we could go out and purchase our cannabis.
Senate Bill 420 and the Attorney General Guidelines gave us the sentence “patients may collectively or cooperatively” get together to do business. Thus, the Collectives and the Co-operatives were created. We now had a place to buy our medicine. However, we have always been and still are in danger of being arrested.
However, Prop 215, Senate Bill 420 and the Attorney General Guidelines merely gave us a defense to criminal charges. It by no means, decriminalized or legalized cannabis on California in any way. While you have the right to consume, grow and possess, you could still be arrested and forced to defend yourself in court. Sure, you will win in court but you have to go through the process (arrest, jailed for the night or weekend, months of going back and forth to court, thousands of dollars paid to an attorney and then it is dismissed). This goes for individual patients and those working for a Collective or Co-operative. While these entities were allowed to operate, there were no regulations, no rules. It was the wild, wild west. Testing was not required, labeling and packaging rules did not exist and the State was not getting its share of the money.
Fast forward to 2016 and the passage of Prop 64 and ultimately the creation of the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation Safety Act (AUMCRSA) which took effect in 2018. Now we have REGULATIONS and they SUCK! That’s a story for another day. Regulations are here like any other legitimate industry, like it or not. Prior to regulations, we could find our medicine on every street corner. Now, it can be much harder to get access. But as with any regulated industry in its infancy there will be growing pains. Pains we can get through by using our cannabis.
That is the point. We never lost our rights to grow, possess and consume our own cannabis. When Prop 64 passed and AUMCRSA took effect, people started to panic that our Prop 215 rights were dead. Instagram and Twitter were blowing up with fear that we would no longer be able to use our medicine. However, that was simply never the case. The new regulations had nothing to do with overtaking Prop 215, replacing it or repealing it.
You continue to have your Prop 215 rights and that is never going away. If you don’t like the regulations then you have the right to grow your own. Just think, if everyone grew there own few cannabis plants (like growing tomatoes in your backyard), the regulations just wouldn’t matter.