July 2010: Staying Safe While Driving with Medicine

A:

Patients and caregivers are legally allowed to transport medical marijuana in California.  Unfortunately, however, patients are still harassed by law enforcement on a regular basis.  When you are driving with medicine, it's best to keep it locked in the trunk.  If you do have a law enforcement encounter,  it is your right to refuse a search.  It is also your right to remain silent and not provide information about your possession or consumption of marijuana.  If your medicine is found by police, provide the officer with your doctor's recommendation or California ID card (remember, these are the two documents that legally protect you).  Travel only with as much medicine as you need, as larger quantities of marijuana tend to make law enforcement uncomfortable.  Even well-intentioned law enforcement officers make mistakes about the law sometimes and you may end up having to defend against charges.

If you do have a law enforcement encounter (good, neutral, or bad), please call our legal hotline at 510/251-1856 x304 or email us at legalsupport@safeaccessnow.org  and include:

  • Your next court date
  • How much medicine was confiscated
  • What charges you may have pending
  • County in which incident took place
  • Law enforcement agency involved
  • Date of incident

Contacting ASA about your experience helps us track what is happening around the state, and helps us determine how to best help patients preserve their rights.

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