In one reason case, a small van transporting about $15,000 of marijuana wholesale – locally grown, certified and state-legal – from Imperial County to a state-licensed dispensary about three hours north. However, it was stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint on the highway – 20 miles from the actual U.S.-Mexico boarder. The distributor reports federal agents seized the entire load.
Three separate law suits have been filed, alleging that a Californian-based marijuana company and its key executive defrauded $1.2 million in loans from investors.
The suits allege that Case Mandel and his Cannadips business operations, used fictional projections — inflated by as much as 2,000 percent — to deliberately mislead lenders into investing in his cannabis companies, then Mandel supposedly held the funds without ever intending to repay them.
California’s cannabis tourism may look a little different in 2020. That’s because the Golden state’s lawmakers recently closed a loophole with Assembly Bill 1810, to prevent passengers from smoking or vaping cannabis products while inside moving vehicles.
For some time, state legislators had been pushing for a bill that protects limousine and party bus drivers from the effects of second-hand cannabis smoke. Senate Bill 625 was first introduced by Californian Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo).
Senate Bill 625
SB 625 bill stated passengers were permitted to consume cannabis within a limousine, pedicab, camper, houseboat, bus or taxi. But it also required drivers were to be separated from passenger compartments, and provided with ventilation systems separate from those smoking pot. These measures were intended to protect drivers from inhaling second-hand smoke and unintentionally becoming high while driving. A measure drivers welcomed, because if consuming pot at the wheel, not only could they pose a risk on the roads, but if testing positive they could also lose their jobs, and their commercial driving licenses.
With 2020 being the third year Californians enjoy the legal use and sale of recreational cannabis, stakeholders expect new laws kicking in, big court cases taking place, and major reforms to criminal justice, all to make this a big year for the cannabis industry.
While 2019 was a challenging year for many cannabis business operators, industry insiders say changes being ushered in bring with them hope, that situations will improve for business owners as the industry presses on.
This month, California has shown an increase in law enforcement activity targeting illegal marijuana growers. A statement from the California Attorney General’s Office said that on November 4, 148 people were arrested by local, state and federal law enforcement officers.
During the raids, California Police seized $1.5 billion worth of illegally grown marijuana. Under California’s “Campaign Against Marijuana Planting” (CAMP) activity, the operations lead authorities to seize and destroy 953,459 plants grown at 345 different cannabis grow sites throughout Southern, Central and Northern California. The November 4 raids also saw 168 weapons confiscated by police.
Federal traffic safety officials have expressed concern that with a growing number of states legalizing recreational marijuana, law enforcement may be thwarted in their attempts to enforce laws on marijuana DUI because they won’t be able to test for the drug.
One of the main problems is the lack of a reliable quantifiable standard to gauge intoxication. With alcohol, adults over 21 in all 50 states are considered impaired by alcohol if their blood concentration of the substance is 0.08 percent or higher. This is called the per se limit.
As our marijuana DUI defense lawyers can explain, there is no per se limit for marijuana in California or in most other states, whether the drug is legal or not. Even in states where there is a per se limit, such evidence can be vexing for prosecutors because it’s undeniably inaccurate when it comes to actually proving intoxication. Unlike alcohol, which dissipates very quickly from the bloodstream, THC (the intoxicating element in marijuana) is processed much slower by the body. A person may have used the drug the day before – or use it regularly – and no longer be intoxicated, but still meet the per se threshold. Continue reading
A California-developed online tool, called ‘Clear My Record,’ which helps people with eligible convictions clear their criminal records, is set to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans previously convicted of marijuana related crimes.
In 2016 when Californian voters legalized marijuana, state officials hoped to reverse decades of marijuana convictions. Especially convictions making it difficult for people to secure substantial employment. And particularly because those affected most disproportionately by marijuana criminal convictions hail from low-income minority groups.
Now, thanks to a new technology, California prosecutors can quickly overturn or lessen approximately 220,000 old marijuana convictions.
California dogs are increasingly getting high. While this may sound harmless or even amusing at first, it’s imperative that pet owners become aware of the dangers associated with marijuana exposure to animals, so that beloved fur family members can be kept out of harm’s way.
As territory across the country allowing the legal use of marijuana has quickly grown – currently, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, recreational marijuana in 11, and the District of Columbia permits both varieties – it should come as little surprise that more and more pets are inadvertently becoming exposed to cannabis too.
If a Louisiana coroner’s report is to be believed, a 39-year-old woman in the Bayou State became the first person on record who died of a marijuana overdose. On the other hand, marijuana experts are highly suspicious of the coroner’s cause-of-death listing, especially as she indicated it with “100 percent certainty.”
But that certainty stemmed from the fact she could find no other obvious cause for why a woman with healthy organs, no alcohol or other drugs in her system and no obvious illness would have been discovered dead on her couch.
Can THC Really Result in a Fatal Overdose?
Probably not. Although this may have been a tough case to crack, the reality is Americans use billions of cannabis products annually. This has been true for a long time, not just since legalization came about, and this is the very first time an overdose has been formally attributed to cannabis – and skeptics abound.
The coroner noted that THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, can result in severe heart palpitations and anxiety, perhaps leading to heart failure, and it was present in 15 times the detectable amount in this patient. Although this might seem startling at first, the reality is marijuana in the bloodstream is not like alcohol; it passes slowly through the system and lingers, long after the effects. A regular user could have high levels of concentration in their blood, yet not even be “high.”
While our cannabis lawyers concede the circumstances are puzzling, a number of medical and scientific experts have expressed deep skepticism, especially given an asserted conclusion of 100 percent certainty when the report reflected circumstantial evidence and process of elimination AND there have been no recorded deaths attributable to marijuana overdose, per to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. A number of medical experts quoted in a series of media reports called the coroner’s conclusion “highly unlikely.” Continue reading
California residents and visitors over age 21 have for the last couple years enjoyed access to legal, recreational cannabis – up to an ounce and within the regulations set forth by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.
But what if a person is found with pot in prison?
That was the question before a California appellate court weighing the legality of five convictions for possession of marijuana while incarcerated by the state. The court ruled to overturn those criminal cannabis convictions.
Justices did note that while ingesting or smoking marijuana while in prison may still be considered a felony charge, possession of the drug isn’t spelled out in the plain language of pertinent statutes, California Health and Safety Code section 11362.45 and 11362.1, which expressly impose penalties for use, but not possession. Continue reading