Patient and Provider Legal Information

Despite the passage of 30 state laws, patients, caregivers, and providers are vulnerable to federal and state raids, arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration.  They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care because of misinformation about the medical efficacy of cannabis and a lack of statutory legal protections.

The information found in this section and our legal support efforts are meant to educate patients, caregivers, and providers about their legal rights, what to expect if you are arrested and tips on avoiding encounters all together. The information in this section can be applied to all states whether your state has a law or not.

The laws and regulations concerning medical cannabis are specific to each state and are subject to change For information about state and federal laws go to:

ASA documents law enforcement encounters and helps guide patients through the legal system. If you have been harassed, detained, arrested, or had your property confiscated by city, county, or state law enforcement, please fill out this report form.  

For individuals operating cultivation sites or dispensing centers please visit ASA Raid Center for more information on preparing for raid and plugging in to ASA’s Raid Response.

*IMPORTANT NOTICE: This information provides a layperson's guide and should not be relied upon for legal advice. ASA strives to make sure that the information contained is as clear and as accurate as possible. If you should notice anything inaccurate or out of date please send a message to

In This Section

Limiting Law Enforcement Encounters

The Best Law Enforcement Encounter is the One that Never Happens. Fortunately, many patients and caregivers never encounter law enforcement problems. Those that do fairly regularly report successful interactions with local and county police. Many municipalities offer strong protection to medical cannabis patients. However, even in friendly jurisdictions, patients are still being harassed and arrested for medical cannabis, even if they present a valid medical cannabis ID card.

Law Enforcement Encounters: Know Your Rights

Making the choice to participate in a medical cannabis program or to resist current laws should be done with thoughtful consideration. Following the law in your local area may not always protect you from law enforcement encounters, and the more you know about your rights, the more likely you will be to have a successful encounter with law enforcement.

Demystifying the Legal System

Once you are in the legal system, there is a general a basic set up steps for everyone despite jurisdiction or agency. This section is meant to “demystify” the system so if you find yourself in jail you can know what to expect. Laws surrounding release options may vary state to state.

Patients' Right Project

The Patients’ Rights Project (PRP) provides direct support and guidance to those using and providing medical cannabis and uses advocacy, media outreach and the courts to expand their rights. Legal patients and providers suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education, and medical care. Too often, patients must choose to break outdated or unworkable state laws that do not allow legal access. Furthermore, all medical cannabis patients and their providers must still violate federal law.