Safe Access Now

Reasonable Medical Marijuana Guidelines

Notice: We are a community based organization dedicated to the implementation of fair and consistent guidelines in all California counties as a safe harbor from arrest under HS Code 11362.5, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.
We do not supply medicine.

Why canopy is a reliable control / Local guidelines / ID Cards / Local reps Physicians / Attorneys / Links / Notice of Change in Law / Newsletter Archives / Site map / Send an Email / State Cannabis ID Card Contacts /

Click here to read online Cannabis Yields and Dosage, Chris Conrad's guide to the science and legalities of calculating medical marijuana. The 2009 edition is available as a PDF (1.3MB) by clicking here, or you can order a printed copy by clicking here: SAN booklet orders. For help in defending a medical marijuana case, see this URL from Americans for Safe Access.

The California Attorney General has issued his own set of guidelines. These are not binding law, but give an idea of how prosecutors will consider the circumstances of a medical marijuana patient or garden.

Protecting Medical Marijuana
Patients and Caregivers

Under California state law, SB 420 (HS 11362.7) , local cities and counties are empowered to adopt medical marijuana possession and garden guidelines, so long as the per patient. amounts are greater than 8 ounces of dried female marijuana flowering tops plus 12 immature or 6 mature cannabis plants. Safe Access Now (SAN) promotes reasonable guidelines for medical marijuana patients to be presumed in compliance with voter-approved Prop 215 (HS 11362.5) , also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

Several localities have adopted guidelines based on those proposed on this site. The factual basis for SAN offers a rational basis criminal defense for reasonable dosages and "Sea of Green" gardens. Our proposal is based on the Sonoma County Garden Guidelines adopted by District Attorney Michael Mullins. These were the first amounts to be based on actual scientific research by the US government. The research has been compiled and summarized by court-qualified cannabis expert Chris Conrad . We have local point persons in various counties who work with community residents to get a SAN Resolution adopted by their City Council or County Board of Supervisors.

This proposal is designed to save tax money and make enforcement of California marijuana laws easier for police officers by providing a simple way to measure a garden or supply of medicine and quickly determine if there is presumed compliance within community standards. We encourage people to work with local sheriffs and district attorneys, as well.

Read more about this project on this website. Many items can be downloads as PDF files you can print and present to others to advance this discussion.

Thank you,

Chris Conrad and Ralph Sherrow, Safe Access Now

Contact us to learn more about your local county and our point people.
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 US Constitution: Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

The basic elements of the proposed SAN Garden Guidelines

Law enforcement shall presume compliance with HS 11362.5 (Prop 215) and make no arrest when a California patient presents authentication of their physician's recommendation and they are found to possess:

Up to three pounds of manicured cannabis bud per patient per year.

Up to 100 square feet of garden canopy (the actual area covered by the leaves) per patient.

No more than 99 plants, contained within the canopy square footage (so that patients can use sea of green or conventional garden techniques).

Patients who need more may receive a physician's note that will exempt them from the above.

A caregiver may provide for more than one patient and may be remunerated for their work when they provide authentication for the number of patients they assist.

Here's why: Not all plants are created equal:
Plant counts don't count: It's size that matters!

Indoor plant yielding less than 1/8 oz

This plant produced under 3 grams (about 1/10 ounce) of cannabis bud.
At 9" diameter; the dry whole plant weighed 9 grams, as shown in the photo.

The plant below produced more than 220 grams (almost 8 ounces) of cannabis bud
(the diameter was about 4.5' in diameter, its actual canopy covered almost 16 square feet!).

8 oz plant

That amounts to 64 times as much usable marijuana from this single plant
as from the plant above shown on the scale!

On this site you will find:

You can read the "Tools for Activists" text files online as html files , but you will need Adobe Acrobat reader to view or print the PDF files. Download here:

  1. Current county and local guidelines
  2. Model County or City ordinance to protect patients / Download as PDF (28k)
  3. California local SAN reps
  4. Sample cover letter from Point Person / Download as PDF (16k)
  5. SAN introductory letter / Download as PDF (36k)
    SAN introductory letter citing SB 420 as PDF (72k)
    SB 420 Notification of change in law per as PDF (28k)
    SB 420 Informational flyer for patients as PDF (20k)
    SB420 Explanatory letter from the authors of the bill.
  6. Sonoma County DA Mike Mullins letter / Download as PDF (36k)
  7. SAN explanatory charts and supporting data / Download as PDF (640k)
  8. Caregiver designation / Download as PDF (24k)
  9. Physicians letter of exemption / Download as PDF (4k)
  10. Safe Access Now one-page handout / Download as PDF (44k)
  11. If you need a physician for consultation
  12. If you need an experienced medical marijuana attorney
  13. If you need a court-qualified cannabis expert ...
  14. Mower Decision: Cal Supreme Court validates HS 11362.5, places burden on prosecution, sets groundwork for pre-trial motion to dismiss charges per code section 995 / Download as PDF file from the linked URL
  15. Federal National Academy of Science / Institute on Medicine recommendations
  16. Statewide ASA conference endorse SAN garden guidelines
  17. Look up any California state law
  18. Outside of California
  19. 80 Related Web Resources on medical marijuana
  20. Links

Not all counties have contact persons, but if you would like to help us, contact Safe Access Now .

For a further look at marijuana laws, visit

Send an email to Safe Access Now