San Luis Obispo Medical Marijuana Cases Dropped By D.A.

The district attorney in San Luis Obispo recently dropped charges against a dozen people charged with providing medical marijuana, the New Times is reporting.

Our Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers fight for the rights of anyone involved in the medical marijuana industry in California. Often, medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles get shut down because of bad politics or uninformed people.
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Sometimes, though, users — the reason these laws were put into place at the beginning — face harassment or violated rights by police and others. For some police officers, a person having a medical marijuana card still isn’t good enough. Despite clearly written laws that allow some people to possess, grow and use marijuana for medicinal purposes, law enforcement sometimes still try to make arrests.

While the laws are constantly changing based on court rulings and common sense decisions, there are some basic truths in California’s medical marijuana laws. And though some law enforcement officers disagree with them and believe the drug is illegal for everyone, those laws must be upheld just like every other law.

In San Luis Obispo, more than a year after charges were initially filed, 12 local medical marijuana providers were arrested and charged with violating drug laws, the charges have been dismissed.

At the time, the newspaper reports, the head of the now-defunct SLO County Narcotics Task Force said there was “concrete proof” there would be 12 full convictions for the charges. Recently, after more than a year of court hearings and motions, a prosecutor admitted that there is insufficient evidence against six of the nine remaining defendants.

Charges against six were dropped, while another co-defendant had a similar hearing. Charges ranged from possession of marijuana to child endangerment. But the state said it intends to appeal the cases to a different court to see if another judge will agree with their interpretation of medical marijuana laws.

The newspaper reports it could take years for the appeals court to make a decision on the matter and in that time frame, the defendants remain in limbo. For many, cash, medical marijuana, access to bank accounts, computers and other possessions are being held by police. While charges were dismissed, the prosecutors could re-file if they get a favorable ruling by the appeals court.

Their attorneys vow to file motions to return their property, but it could be difficult for them to get that ruling since the cases are still considered legally open. The defendants feel as though the prosecution is playing a game with them — trying to disrupt their lives rather than do justice.

The major delay in the case was based on argument over proposed jury instructions. Prosecutors trying to convince a judge not to include language of “medical marijuana” and “collectives” in the instructions a jury would hear. But the defense prevailed, which led to the state dropping the charges.

The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Los Angeles, throughout Orange County and elsewhere throughout Southern California. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Report: Medical Marijuana in California Reduces Traffic Fatalities: January 20, 2012
Additional Resources:

D.A. dismisses Doobie Dozen defendants — for now, by Matt Fountain, New Times