While California Attorney General Kamala Harris works privately on her own medical marijuana guidelines, local police and prosecutors say they are trying to do the right thing. A recent case raised the question, is concentrated cannabis, sometimes called hashish, legal under the medical marijuana laws. Mono Assistant District Attorney Tim Kendall has responded.
Kendall said that there is an attorney general’s opinion from 2003 that says concentrated cannabis is covered under the medical marijuana law. Kendall said that he believes case law confirms that concentrated cannabis is legally covered. The Assistant DA said, “If the hash is in personal use amounts and is supported by a doctor recommendation or an MMP card (Medical Marijuana Program) card, then it is legal to possess. However,” said Kendall, “an individual who converts/ processes the marijuana into hash or honey oil could be subject to prosecution based on their lack of classification under our medical marijuana laws.”
Kendall went further to say that the public needs to understand that a doctor’s recommendation does not make them immune to arrest or seizure of their medical marijuana. Law enforcement, said Kendall, may and often will arrest and let the court figure it out. Kendall pointed out that marijuana possession still remains illegal. “A doctor’s recommendation,” said Kendall, “simply provides a defense to the charge of possession of marijuana once they are in court. On the other hand,” he said, “an MMP card does protect them from arrest and seizure of their medical marijuana.”
Kendall said if a person possesses an MMP card, the only discretion left for an officer is to determine whether the amounts indicate possible sales vs. personal medical use. He said if the officer feels it is for sale based on the circumstances, the officer can arrest and seize.