Term: Proposition 215
Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, is a California law permitting the use of medical cannabis despite marijuana's lack of the normal Food and Drug Administration testing for safety and efficacy. It was enacted, on November 5, 1996, by means of the initiative process, and passed with 5,382,915 (55.6%) votes in favor and 4,301,960 (44.4%) against.
The proposition was a statewide voter initiative authored by Dennis Peron, Anna Boyce RN, John Entwistle, Jr., Valerie Corral, Dale Gieringer, William Panzer, medical marijuana activist and founder of the L.A. Cannabis Resource Center Scott Tracy Imler, attorney Leo Paoli and psychiatrist Tod H. Mikuriya, and approved by California voters. It allows patients with a valid doctor's recommendation, and the patients' designated Primary Caregivers, to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal medical use, and has since been expanded to protect a growing system of collective and cooperative distribution. The Act added Section 11362.5 to the California Health and Safety Code. California Proposition 215 was the first medical marijuana ballot initiative passed at the state level; causing a conflict in the United States between states' rights advocates and those who support a stronger federal presence.