OAKLAND PERMITS MEDICAL CANNABIS POSSESSION OF 144 PLANTS AND SIX POUNDS PER PATIENT
The City of Oakland has once again distinguished itself as being the leader at the forefront of the movement for a more rational drug policy in the United States. Most recently, Oakland enacted a policy permitting patients to possess realistic quantities of processed cannabis and cannabis plants for use as medicine.
Specifically, on July 7, 1998, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved a policy statement allowing patients to possess up to 144 cannabis plants and up to six pounds of cannabis in particle form. For a primary caregiver, those numbers are multiplied by the number of patients for whom he or she has caregiver status.
The details: A patient (or a primary caregiver, for each patient) may grow up to 48 flowering plants and 96 non-flowering plants in an indoor garden, for a total of 144 plants. In an outdoor garden, those numbers are 30 flowering plants and 60 non-flowering plants. In addition, a patient (or a primary caregiver, for each patient) may possess up to one and one-half pounds of cannabis in particle form, but that amount increases to six pounds if he/she grew it him/herself.
According to the policy, law enforcement personnel will not cite, arrest, or seize the medicine of, a person who possesses cannabis within the above limits if that person satisfactorily establishes patient or caregiver status at the time of the intital contact.
Significantly, even if a patient (or caregiver) claims that processed cannabis is for medical use, but cannot immediately establish patient or caregiver status, any cannabis seized will be separately stored at the police station, and will not be turned over to the district attorney for possible criminal prosecution, if the person can produce satisfactory evidence of patient or caregiver status within two business days. If the person produces such evidence, the police will return the medicine to its owner.
Similarly, if a patient (or caregiver) claims that cannabis plants are for medical use, but cannot immediately establish patient or caregiver status, the police will not immediately seize the plants. Instead, the police will only take photographs and clippings from the lower leaves of the plants if the owner produces satisfactory evidence of patient or caregiver status within two business days.
This policy was developed during months of negotiations in the Oakland Medical Marijuana Working Group, a committee consisting of patients, doctors, attorneys, medical cannabis providers, and representatives from the Police Department, the City Attorney, and the City Manager.
The weight limits allowed under the policy are based upon the amount of medical cannabis provided to eight patients by the U.S. government through the federal Investigative New Drug program.