(1997): The ruling applies retroactively to persons fitting the medical use requirements who were charged before the statute was put into effect.
(1999): A person arrested for possession or cultivation of cannabis before obtaining a recommendation from a physician for the medical use of cannabis may not use this defense retroactively if a physician's recommendation is obtained after the arrest, unless there is a spectacular explanation.
(2001): In a ruling in direct conflict with the above People v. Trippet ruling, the court ruled that the Compassionate Use Act does not protect transportation of medical cannabis.
(2002): Law enforcement officers are not required to abandon a search for marijuana authorized by a search warrant when a resident of the premises produces documents that suggest he has a physician's permission to possess the cannabis.
(2002): This unanimous CA Supreme Court ruling declared that patients and their care providers are entitled to a pre-trial hearing to determine the legitimacy of their medical cannabis defense. If this is established through a preponderance of evidence, the case should be dismissed before going to trial.
(2003): This CA Appellate Court ruling holds that a defendant's testimony, confirming an "approval" or "recommendation" by a doctor to use medical marijuana, is sufficient, without verification from the doctor, to establish for a jury the defendant.s status as a medical marijuana patient.
(2003): This ruling criticizes the decision in People v. Bianco (2001) which held that it is within the trial court's discretion to impose a probation condition prohibiting all marijuana use for the offense of marijuana cultivation where defendant was a long-time marijuana user and his marijuana use was found to have contributed to his offense.
(2004): The California Supreme Court held that a defendant may "informally suggest" that the magistrate or superior court dismiss the information or complaint "in the interests of justice." Counsel may do this at any time, even as early as the arraignment, or in connection with a demurrer to the complaint, when the evidentiary foundation is laid through the submission of the doctor's recommendation.
(2005): The Third District Court of Appeal issued a positive decision affirming the legality of collectives and cooperatives, and held that SB 420, otherwise referred to as the Medical Marijuana Program Act, provides for a defense to marijuana distribution for collectives and cooperatives.
(2006): The California Supreme Court reaffirmed that the Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB 420) specifically provides an affirmative defense to the crime of transporting marijuana to a qualified patient or a person with a state identification card who transports or processes marijuana for his or her own personal medical use.
(2008): After several courts of appeal very narrowly construed what is meant by a "primary caregiver," the California Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeal and held that one does not qualify as a "primary caregiver" simply by furnishing marijuana to a qualified patient.
(2007): On March 22, 2007, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District issued a published decision in People v. Strasburg, holding that the Compassionate Use Act does not provide immunity from an otherwise justifiable search, such as when an officer smells marijuana.
(2007): In a 41-page published decision that strongly affirms the right of medical marijuana patients to possess their medicine without law enforcement harassment, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District required trial courts to order the return of medical marijuana that was improperly seized by the police.
(2007): The Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District reversed appellant's convictions for possessing six ounces of marijuana for distribution based on the "expert" testimony of a police officer that a scale, baggies, and small sum of cash evidenced marijuana distribution.
(2008): The Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District found that the police violated the defendant's right against unreasonable searches and seizures when they entered his home without a warrant based only on their observation that someone inside was smoking marijuana.
(2008): The Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held that the trial court improperly denied a medical marijuana defense to the defendant. The court held that the defendant's medical marijuana recommendation did not expire, even though the doctor who issued it required yearly evaluations.
(2008): The Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District (Sacramento) held that the quantities of marijuana specified in the Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB 420) constitute an unconstitutional legislative amendment of a voter-approved initiative.
(2009): The Court of Appeal affirmed a superior court order denying a man convicted of a firearm offense from using medical marijuana as a condition of probation because he obtained his doctor's recommendation after his conviction.
(2010): The California Supreme Court issued a unanimous published decision in People v. Kelly, striking down what it considered unconstitutional legislative limits on how much medical marijuana patients can possess and cultivate.