I always say that a medical marijuana program is only as good as its ability for patients to acquire medicine. So if a medical marijuana program doesn't allow dispensaries, and patients suffer, than the medical marijuana program isn't as good as it could (or should) be. The same is true of personal cultivation. Someone shouldn't be forced to go to a dispensary if they have the skills and resources to grow their own medicine.
California for a long time has had the best medical marijuana program in the country in a lot of ways. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana, and once had a thriving medical marijuana dispensary scene. There are still a lot of quality medical marijuana dispensaries in California, but there aren't as many as there once was due to local bans. A lot of dispensaries have been forced to close in California in the last five years.
That's all the more reason why home cultivation is important. But there is a growing trend in California towards banning personal home cultivation. A complete personal home cultivation ban is likely to occur in San Joaquin County. Per Lodi News:
At its April 7 meeting, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the introduction of an ordinance that would ban personal cultivation of medical marijuana.
The ordinance, proposed by San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore, is scheduled to be adopted by the board at an April 14 meeting.
"This is not something that has been a quick reaction to an ongoing issue," Moore said. "This is a result of a year's worth of interaction with the public, county staff and the board. It's a well thought-out, well-prepared and well-planned solution that will benefit law enforcement."
San Joaquin Sheriff's Capt. Bruce Wuest, a member of the Sheriff's narcotics task force, said personal cultivation has created a public safety issue, as deputies spend more time than necessary trying to determine if any marijuana found is legal or not.
So rather than the cops doing their due diligence and determining if someone has a valid medical marijuana prescription (or even better, giving up on failed prohibition altogether) they want to hurt the patients that need medical marijuana the most. I'm not saying that business related cultivation should be banned, because it shouldn't, but of any form of cultivation, personal cultivation should be left alone the most. Parts of California attack safe access points, dwindling the overall numbers, and now trying they are trying to prevent people from growing their own plants. That's truly sad news.