Alameda County Processing Medical Marijuana ID Cards

August 01, 2006

, KTVU News

Alameda County public health officials said that on Tuesday they began processing medical marijuana identification cards for eligible county residents.

The Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program, which was established by the state legislature, enables counties to administer a voluntary card registration program that identifies medical marijuana patients and caregivers.

Patients can use the identification card as evidence that they have received a recommendation from their physician to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

However, Alameda County officials stress that the state's program doesn't protect patients from federal prosecution for possession of marijuana.

Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Anthony Iton said in a statement, "By implementing this card program Alameda County marijuana patients will have access to convenient proof of their status. We believe that this is a valuable service to both patients and law enforcement."

The Alameda County Public Health Department has contracted with Alameda County Patient Services to process medical marijuana identification cards that actually will be issued by the state Department of Health Services.

Neither the Public Health Department nor Patient Services will dispense marijuana. Patients will be given a list of dispensary sites where medical marijuana can be purchased once they have an ID card.

To be eligible for the county's medical marijuana ID card program, a person must reside in Alameda County, be 18 years or older (if under 18, written proof of emancipation or approval from the minor's parent or legal guardian is required), and have a serious or chronic medical condition.

That condition must substantially limit the ability to conduct one or more major life activities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Eligible persons must have a recommendation from a physician indicating that medical marijuana is appropriate for their condition.



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