This morning Bob Egelko has a pretty good
The confusion in this area stems from two distinct problems: one is that the legislature made a drafting error in writing SB420, such that the quantity limit language of that law seems to apply to absolutely all medical marijuana patients, not just patients who opt-in to the ID card program. The second problem is that the California Supreme Court, when it discussed this general issue in the 2006 case of People v. Wright, wrote the following about the quantity limits:
theamounts set forth in section 11362.77, subdivision (a) were intended “to be the threshold, not the ceiling.”
That line about the “threshold, not the ceiling,” comes from the legislative history of SB420, but trying to figure out exactly what it means has taken up the brain power of many otherwise capable people. As best I can tell, the word “threshold” in that sentence does not mean “entrance” to legal protections, as one might suppose from the association between “threshold” and “doorway.” Rather, it means that the quantity limit is the “boundary” between the protections of SB420 and the broader, less specifically defined “reasonableness”-oriented protections of the Compassionate Use Act. But that’s just my best guess. When
For more background on what this debate is about, see this blog’s overview of California medical marijuana law.