Articles Tagged with marijuana arrest

Marijuana is now legal in a growing number of states. As of this writing, 26 states and the District of Colombia now have some type of legalized marijuana. Six states allow marijuana for recreational use and two others have passed laws to allow it, though they haven’t yet gone into effect. This patchwork of marijuana legalization – without clear, decisive direction from the federal government – has led to some confusion in some regions.arrest

Case-in-point: A man in Arizona was arrested while sitting in his vehicle, listening to music and smoking a little marijuana. Now, as our L.A. marijuana lawyers will tell you, there is more than one flaw in his thinking. The first is that even in states like California where use and possession of marijuana are legal for recreation, public use is not legal. Beyond that, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence or impaired. Even if the vehicle was not on, authorities could make the argument that he was “in control” of the vehicle and, depending on state DUI or OUI statutes, that could mean even just sitting in the car with the keys in the ignition.

But this defendant’s biggest problem was that marijuana is not even legal in Arizona, at least not for recreational use. Continue reading

The failed war on drugs created the characterization of marijuana as this dangerous, addictive gateway to harder substances. This assertion has largely been debunked. And yet, the drug remains a Schedule I narcotic and people continue to face arrest and prosecution – even serious prison time – for manufacturing, buying, selling and possessing the drug, even though no violent crime has been committed. police car

Some of the latest data to have emerged in recent weeks on marijuana arrests gives us a little hope, but also illustrates how much farther we have to go on this issue.

The first analysis was conducted by The Washington Post after receiving the latest FBI unified crime statistics from 2015. Reporters learned that the number of marijuana possession arrests last year – 575,000 – was the lowest its been since 1996. It also shows us a 7 percent year-over-year drop, and an approximately 35 percent dip since 2007, when pot possession arrests were at their peak of 800,000. Now, this would suggest that police are overall spending less time to marijuana enforcement, particularly with regard to other drugs. But then, we consider a joint report by the Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union that shows the 575,000 marijuana arrests in 2015 for low-level personal use last year numbered 13.6 percent more than the 506,000 arrests made for all violent crimes that same year – including for murder, rape and serious assaults.  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 StopTheDrugWar.org 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