What is the Difference Between Medical Cannabis and Recreational Cannabis?

California has long been on the forefront of efforts to reform cannabis and cannabis laws. Throughout the years, California and San Diego have been pushing back on antiquated laws making use and possession of cannabis illegal, all culminating with the legalization of recreational cannabis on January 1, 2018. However, the path to legalization of medical cannabis and recreational cannabis has been a long one, so let’s take a look back at the journey of cannabis legalization in San Diego.


The Criminalization of Cannabis in 1907

In 1907, the Poison Act was passed. This law, and the amendments that followed in 1913 and 1915, made the possession or sale of any kind of cannabis a misdemeanor. Before the Poison Act, there was no restriction on cannabis use in California. With the passage of the Poison Act cannabis was banned, including cannabis used as a medical aid or for pain management.


Proposition 215 Legalizes Medical Cannabis in San Diego

After years of dedicated individuals fighting for the legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes, California state legislative was finally forced to take notice. Medical cannabis advocates collected 775,000 signatures in order to get a proposition on the state ballot in 1996. Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, was approved in California with 56% approving of the prop. This legalized medical cannabis in San Diego, and the rest of California. Later, Senate Bill 420 was passed to provide further clarifications on the rules and regulations around medical cannabis use, cultivation, and sale.


What is Medical Cannabis?

Medical cannabis refers to when people use cannabis to treat symptoms of a medical condition or disease. Medical cannabis users are not using cannabis to get “high”, they are trying to treat symptoms that are causing them pain or discomfort. Here are a few of the medical conditions that doctors recommend the use of medical cannabis to treat symptoms:

  • Anorexia
  • Cancer
  • AIDS
  • Migraines
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic Pain
  • Spasticity
  • Glaucoma
  • Anxiety


Requirements to Purchase Medical Cannabis in San Diego

In order to purchase medical cannabis at a medical cannabis dispensary in San Diego, you must be diagnosed with one of the above medical conditions. Once diagnosed with written documentation by a physician, you need to register for a medical cannabis card. To register, you must be a legal California resident and at least 18 years old. Once you register and pay a minor fee, you can enter a medical cannabis dispensary by showing your card and purchase cannabis.


Proposition 64 Legalizes Recreational Cannabis in San Diego

On January 1, 2018, recreational cannabis was legalized in California. This stems from the passage of Proposition 64 on November 8, 2016. Also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, it passed with 57% of the vote, making it legal in 2018 to purchase recreational cannabis in California as long as you are over 21 years old.


What is Recreational Cannabis?

Recreational cannabis is cannabis that is used without any kind of medical justification. In general, recreational cannabis contains more THC and less CBD than medical cannabis, as recreational users are looking to get “high”, and THC is the substance that accomplishes this goal.


San Diego Recreational Cannabis offers Medical and Recreational Cannabis

Regardless of whether you are looking for recreational cannabis or medical cannabis, San Diego Recreational Cannabis has what you need. We cater to both recreational and medical cannabis users, as medical users are legally permitted access to stronger products in greater quantity. If you have a medical cannabis card or wish to purchase recreational cannabis in San Diego, come to San Diego Recreational Cannabis in Mission Valley. For more information, give us a call at