Marijuana is a psychoactive product of the plant Cannabis sativa L. subsp. indica (= C. indica Lam.).
In California, Proposition 215 (passed in 1996) allows for users with a doctor's prescription to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. A 2003 state law requires these users to carry an identification card to easily identify themselves to law enforcement officials. There are marijuana dispensaries throughout the region for medical paitents. However, federal law makes possessing or selling marijuana a crime, leading to such businesses having legal status in California jurisdictions while getting raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Sacramento does not technically prohibit medical marijuana stores, but under the city's zoning code, medical marijuana dispensaries are not considered an authorized use of property. Other cities, such as Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville, and Lincoln, outright ban the stores.
- In July 2005, Alternative Specialties on 9205 Folsom Boulevard, opened in August 2004 by Louis Wayne Fowler, was shut down by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department and DEA agents.
In 2006 and 2007, two massive indoor pot farming operations were uncovered in Sacramento area suburbs. A Bay-area Chinatown ring bought more than 40 homes, most with 100 percent financing, from Natomas to Stockton, with the majority being in Elk Grove and Stockton. These homes were gutted and converted into sophisticated growing operations; the growers allegedly hijaacked electrical power to run the grow lights while remaining undetected on the power grid.
Police credit neighbors for helping to discover the operations. Reportedly, the pot growers did a poor job of maintaining their lawns, rarely showed their faces, and often did heavy lifting and moving at night. Windows were always blocked, as virtually every square foot of the homes were used to grow or process marijuana.
In September 2007, Elk Grove uncovered another network of 21 homes, with the majority of them located in Elk Grove. Many of these homes had their operations only on the top floor.
For those who think addiction to pot may be a problem and need the support of non-using stoners, Marijuana Anonymous (MA) is available. There are now 4 meetings a week in Sacramento.