Medical Marijuana

Compassionate Use Act of 1996

The Compassionate Use Act of 1996, also known as Prop 215, was passed to ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes.

ID Card

In 2003, California passed a law to give qualified patients and their primary caregivers a form of identification to protect them agains wrongful arrest and prosecution.

The ID card allows law enforcement officers to check a state data system and verify if a medical marijuana ID card is valid. However, the Act does not protect marijuana plants from seizure nor individuals from federal prosecution under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Applications for an ID Card

The Merced County Department of Public Health's (MCDPH) processes applications for Medical Marijuana Identification Cards (MMIC).

A written application must be submitted in person to the MCDPH. After an application is approved, an ID card will be issued by the California Department of Health Services and sent to the local health department. The ID card will then be provided to the qualified patient and approved designated primary caregivers.

This ID card is valid for one year from the date of application approval. A renewal application is required every year. Participation in the program by qualified patients is voluntary. You must make an appointment to apply.