Articles Posted in California marijuana criminal defense

Prop 64, or the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, does a lot more than the title might suggest. In addition to legalizing marijuanamarijuana criminal defense in California (and regulating and taxing), it offers a unique opportunity for the state to make reparations of sort to the people and communities who have suffered the most from the destructive “War on Drugs,” which turned out to be more of a slanderous attack on marijuana and an assault on minorities.

According to ACLU, most drug arrests between 2001-2010 were for marijuana, and a whopping 88% of those were for possession. Worse yet, black people were more than 3 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana-related crimes than white people despite having almost equal rates of use.

San Francisco and San Diego are leading the way in the state toward making amends for past marijuana-related crimes. The city’s district attorneys are proactively reviewing cases on the books and expunging misdemeanors that are no longer crimes, giving those who previously have been punished a clean slate. They also are checking for charges that can be reduced to lesser crimes.

But what about the rest of the state? Continue reading

Thousands of California misdemeanor marijuana convictions could be expunged soon in an effort by leaders in two cities to correct the damage to some communities by a decades-long, failed “War on Drugs.”

Some of the obvious pros for marijuana legalization  include economic opportunities, increased taxes flowing in to the state coffers and fewer jails and prison packed with non-violent drug offenders marijuana defense. California is already beginning to experience these perks since the passage last month of the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The drug is still deemed a Schedule I narcotic under the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.

The issue of non-violent drug arrests and convictions has been a controversial one in recent years, with some politicians clinging to the illogical argument that a failure to crack down on low-level possession leads to widespread and dangerous use. This just isn’t true, but this flawed thinking and aggressive enforcement of arcane laws has dearly cost individuals, families and communities (particularly those that are majority minority). Continue reading

It is an extremely exciting time now in California for cannabis businesses. While medical marijuana has been legal in the state for nearlymarijuana businesses two decades, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2018, is ushering in a new era with the legalization of recreational cannabis in California.

But our legal team knows it also can be a very scary and confusing time. Some officials are seeking to make the transition as easy as possible to encourage cannabis businesses to become public and legal. While others seem to be looking for reasons to crack down on businesses and exploit clashing laws.

Such is the case in northern California’s Mendocino County, where in late December two delivery workers were arrested, and their van and its contents, roughly a ton of marijuana, was confiscated. Continue reading

Marijuana has become legal in many states across the country, for both medical and recreational use. California is the latest states to pave the way for recreationalcannabis businesses cannabis businesses through the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

But just because a state has legalized cannabis does not mean there is a marijuana free-for-all with no rules or consequences.

For example, Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 in 2012, allowing for personal recreational use of marijuana for adults over 21. Sales began in the state in 2014. But recently 26 legal cannabis businesses were shut down by authorities in Denver.

All of the operations were either store fronts or growing facilities operating under the Sweet Leaf name. While the operations were licensed and legal, they had been under investigation for the past year on suspicion the businesses were exceeding individual sales limits set by the state. Colorado regulations restrict possession to one ounce or less of marijuana per adult. Continue reading

With wildfires tearing across California, many homes are being destroyed, as are other businesses including medical marijuana farms, and unlike other businesses, these farmers cannot have insurance policies on their grow operations because federal law prohibits insurance carriers from writing such policies.marijuana attorney

According to a recent news article from the Cannabist, a company that runs a major online crowdsource, has just pulled the plug on a campaign hosted on their platform to raise money for  the farmers who lost a great deal to the massive wildfires in Northern California. There were already many donations on the site that totaled over $13,000 before the campaign was terminated. Continue reading

San Diego has been notoriously tough on marijuana law enforcement. City and county authorities have been shutting down illegal grow houses and business operations for many years. In March 2017, the police and city attorney’s office began a targeted crackdown on illegally-operated dispensaries. KPBS reports that sixty marijuana dispensaries were shut down in the first six months of the program. And yet, as raids expand, and authorities collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and pounds of marijuana, some question whether the enforcement tactics have gone too far.cannabis defense attorneys

A Shocking Case Study

There is perhaps no stronger argument for the overreaching of authority by the San Diego District Attorney’s Office than its treatment of a defense attorney. The attorney represents a marijuana distributor, Med-West, which has been under investigation by the DA’s office, in spite of the evidence its corporate officers have consistently provided to establish that it operates lawfully. In the course of her representation, the attorney sent an email to the client containing the words “plausible deniability”. This email was the basis of a criminal indictment of the attorney for being an accessory to a crime after the fact. Not only was the attorney indicted in blatant disregard of her client’s attorney-client privilege, but she was also treated with a surprising amount of aggression in the execution of the resulting warrant. She was arrested by an armed SWAT team at the home she shares with her boyfriend and mother. There, handcuffed and still in pajamas, her arrest warrant was read aloud “just loud enough for the neighbors to hear”. Continue reading

California is poised to instantly create the country’s largest marijuana market when it begins legal sales of recreational cannabis products on January 2, 2018. Being the largest marijuana market comes with other, more dubious distinctions, as well.

The Sacramento Bee reports that 75 percent of the total numbers of indoor plants seized by the United State Drug Enforcement Administration in 2016 were taken from California. This figure does not include those plants seized by state and local authorities. These numbers are also significant: according to U.S. News and World Report, a single crackdown in Calaveras County resulted in the seizure of 27,000 plants over four days. CBS Sacramento reports that thirty-eight pounds of marijuana were seized in one arrest on the I-80.The defendant was arrested north of Lake Tahoe, and eventually booked into a Nevada County Jail on three counts of narcotics trafficking.cannabis defense attorneys

Why the Number is So High

Interestingly, the 2016 number was more than double the number of indoor plants seized by the D.E.A. in California in 2012. So why have indoor grows increased so quickly in California? According to a D.E.A. report, indoor production has two key advantages: it does not rely on outdoor climate conditions or growing seasons, and it is more difficult for law enforcement officers to discover that open outdoor grows. Outgrow grows can cause other legal complications, too: many outdoor grows in California have been conducted on federal lands. Marijuana is entirely prohibited on federal lands. No state permit, license, or compliance can protect a defendant from being prosecuted under federal law if he or she grows marijuana on federal lands within state borders. Continue reading