Articles Posted in marijuana arrest

A recent police raid of a popular Santa Rosa cannabis dispensary that services thousands of medical marijuana patients sparked a huge protest and intense political pressure, ultimately leading to the owner being released with no bail and no criminal charges pending. jail2

The company, Care By Design, is back in business, making its cannabis oil-infused products. Police likely didn’t expect the backlash when they raided the facility, which is run by a prominent, well-connected professional.

Authorities initially arrested Operator Dennis Hunter on charges of spearheading a meth lab-type operation. His bail was set at an eye-popping $5 million. The next day, hundreds of people gathered in front of the Sonoma County courthouse to protest the arrest. Local officials were hounded with a letter-writing campaign. A long-time, respected politician stepped in with his support. City officials then began weighing in.  Continue reading

The U.S. Supreme Court has just handed down two rulings that may have widened the ability of law enforcement to conduct illegal searches – something our Los Angeles marijuana arrest lawyers find deeply troubling. handcuffs6

In one case, there was an expansion of the exception to a long-standing rule that unlawfully-gathered evidence had to be discarded. In the second ruling, the court held that those who deal drugs – even those who only selling locally to their neighbors – were in effect a part of some larger interstate commerce.

As Phillip Smith of pointed out, these two decisions:

  • Widen local police’s ability to sidestep the law without accountability;
  • Give prosecutors the muscle of the federal government to crush small-time, low-level drug dealers and other criminals.

The high court has long deferred to the position of law enforcement officers. But this is often done to the detriment of the public at-large.  Continue reading

The turning tide of marijuana reform first started in the 1970s, as many state and local governments started to recognize the ill effects of locking up non-violent, low-level offenders for mere possession of the drug. One of the first states to climb on board the decriminalization movement was New York, with its Marijuana Reform Act of 1977. That measure decriminalized small-time possession.marijuana2

And yet, as it was recently reported by The Village Voice, the number of marijuana arrests in state in 2013 was the highest of any other in the country. With an average of more than 535 marijuana arrests per 100,000 people, it was more than double the national average.

Then in 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio updated police policy to allow officers to issue a summons rather than initiate an arrest for anyone caught with 25 grams or less. That slashed the number of misdemeanor marijuana arrests virtually overnight by nearly 60 percent between 2014 and 2015. Continue reading

A Colorado woman whose son was injured when he jumped out of a window after consuming a marijuana-laced brownie his mother had procured for his friend will serve 30 days in jail. chippedglass

That’s according to the latest from The Coloradoan, which also noted the district court judge tacked on two years of probation as well.

Defendant had pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of providing marijuana to a person who was younger than 21. However, she was deemed not guilty of the felony charge of witness tampering.  Continue reading

A man awaiting sentencing following a federal marijuana cultivation conviction is arguing on appeal that a Congressional action should have halted his prosecution long before he was convicted. handcuffs6

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is expected to rule on the case soon, and the outcome could have a significant impact on the future of federal marijuana prosecutions of medical marijuana dispensaries and users in the eight Western states that allow them. It also would overturn or stop half a dozen federal marijuana convictions/ prosecutions in both California and Washington.

Last year, a jury in a Washington state federal court convicted Rolland Gregg, his former wife and his mother for growing about 70 marijuana plants on their property in Washington. The family has insisted in the three years since their arrest that they were doing nothing wrong because that all the marijuana they grew was for the purpose of their own private medicinal use. They insist their actions 100 percent complied with state law. The problem, in the eyes of the government, is that marijuana cultivation is not legal under federal law. So according to prosecutors, it didn’t matter that the actions of Gregg and the others met state law standards.  Continue reading

Five years ago, law enforcement in Orange County busted nearly 7,500 people for marijuana misdemeanors. That meant thousands of non-violent offenders were walking away with criminal records that not only impacted their immediate freedom and finances, it impeded their ability to land jobs and, in some cases, housing. police911.jpg

Last year, the total number of marijuana-related misdemeanors in the county? 548. That’s a dramatic decrease of an astonishing 93 percent.

Much of this is thanks to a 2010 law that rendered possession of an ounce or less of the drug a civil infraction. That’s on the same level as jaywalking. Orange County isn’t unique in this regard. In fact, the Orange County Register reports that statewide, misdemeanor marijuana arrests tumbled 90 percent from 2008 to 2014.
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One of the hardest things to resolve when dealing with medical marijuana and even recreational marijuana legalization is how people are still being sent to prison on marijuana related charges in states where the drug is legal. Part of the problem is that possession of any amount of marijuana is illegal under the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (USCSA).

Thumbnail image for supremecourt.jpgAccording to the USCSA, marijuana is a Schedule One controlled substance. This means that Congress considered marijuana to be highly dangerous, highly addictive, and a drug that has absolutely no valid medical use. Despite the fact that we now know that none of those attributes are true, marijuana has remained a Schedule One controlled dangerous substance for more than 40 decades. This is as a result of lobbying, issues with taxation, and utter nonsense like “Reefer Madness” which was an anti-marijuana propaganda film made in 1936. This movie shows how marijuana leads to murder.
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According to a recent news feature from the Evening Sun, a California sheriff’s deputy has just been arrested for allegedly being in possession of around 250 pounds of marijuana. Authorities in York, Pennsylvania have said they were involved in an investigation into the sale of illegal drugs that resulted in the arrest of the three defendants, including the deputy from California.

police-on-the-scene-1172422-m.jpgDuring a press conference following the arrest, police and prosecutors had a table displaying many bags of marijuana, a lot of cash fanned out to show they were mostly $100 bills, as well as a semi-automatic handgun. There was also evidence the police allege were indicia of attempts to sell the marijuana. Though, regardless, of whether or not there as any paraphernalia consistent with the sale of narcotics, it would be pretty difficult to credible argue that 250 pounds of marijuana was for personal use. Authorities have also stated there were several different agencies that were participating in a taskforce that was ultimately responsible for the large scale marijuana arrest of a defendant from California.

Specifically, this large scale drug bust occurred Christmas week and began with a traffic stop. In the car were the three defendants who were trying to the deliver the marijuana to a local buyer. However, as a member of taskforce stated, this traffic stop was not conducted, because they noticed the car had a broken tail light. At the time officers approached the car, they already had a warrant in hand to search the vehicle. While they obviously knew the car allegedly contained marijuana, they did not know that one of the defendants was a California sheriff’s deputy. They reported finding his badge and his service weapon (the handgun displayed on the table) along with other evidence. In total, they reported to have discovered 122 sealed bags of marijuana weighing a total of 250 pounds, and $11,000 in cash.
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A 61-year-old man in Missouri has been serving a life sentence in prison for nonviolent marijuana crimes. Soon, that will change.
His attorney recently announced that per a decision by the state department of corrections, the man will be free within less than a month after serving more than 20 years in prison. His last offense was reportedly for selling six pounds of marijuana to an undercover officer in 1993. Strict drug laws in place at the time bound the judge to sentence him to life as a repeated drug offender. The state followed a “three strikes” law for all drug offenders.

The state parole board convened with him after he became eligible for parole this spring after the Democratic state governor commuted his life sentence, in addition to issuing pardons to five other offenders with non-violent pasts.

The governor received a petition from with nearly 400,000 signatures seeking clemency for the prisoner.
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Attempting to carry marijuana or any form of cannabis onto an airplane has historically been a good way to end up prison, especially if the amount being transported is substantial.
However, that could be changing, at least in states where the drug is now legal.

The Portland International Airport in Oregon now allows passengers to fly out of their terminal with carry-marijuana. But – and this is a big “but” – it only applies if passengers are flying from PDX to one of the four airports elsewhere in the state.

Numerous signs throughout the terminal serve to remind passengers that transporting marijuana across state lines is against federal law, as well as the laws of other states.
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