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Background

The Santa Clara County Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP) is a program of the State of California that requires counties to administer a voluntary card registration program that allows qualified patients to apply for and receive Medical Marijuana Identification Cards (MMIC) for themselves and their primary caregiver through their county of residence. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department's MMICP began operation on March 13, 2006.
In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act. The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Health & Safety Code, section 11362.5) ensures that seriously ill patients and their primary caregivers who possess, cultivate or use marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to California criminal prosecution or sanction, when they have a recommendation from a physician.
 
Senate Bill (SB) 420 was established to assist law enforcement in identifying Californians who were protected by Proposition 215 and to provide patients and their caregivers with a form of identification that would protect them against wrongful arrest and prosecution.
 
Individuals are not protected from marijuana plant seizure or from federal prosecution under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The information provided in the application may be released as required by law, judicial order, or subpoena, and could be used in a federal criminal prosecution.
  
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