Vegas Tosses Criminal Charges in Medical Marijuana Case
A Las Vegas judge is the latest to dismiss criminal charges involving medical marijuana, the Review-Journal reported.
Our Los Angeles medical marijuana defense attorneys continue to monitor the issue. As we reported recently on our Marijuana Lawyer Blog, the court here has sided with patients and collectives when it comes to criminal charges — despite the fact that the California Assembly and local legislatures have passed measures permitting criminal charges in connection with medical marijuana, which has been legal under state law for 15 years.
The judge found in this case that the prosecutor was selective about the evidence shown to the grand jury. This is incredibly dangerous, and unfortunately happens with alarming regularity. Grand juries are made up of citizens from the community. The standard of proof is fairly low in order to get criminal charges. And many believe the juries are predisposed to side with the prosecutors. Nor is there typically any defense evidence presented. Despite the incredible home field advantage, too many prosecutors can’t resist further stacking the deck. The fact that people are wrongly charged should come as no real surprise.
The judge ruled the grand jury should have been shown paperwork filled out by the undercover officers, which indicated the marijuana was not for sale and that a co-op donation was not necessary to obtain the herb under the state’s medical marijuana law.
In Nevada, law enforcement has virtually shut down the industry by claiming co-ops were accepting compensation in the form of donations, which violates state law. Like so many other states, law enforcement in Nevada is having a difficult time understanding they no longer run the show when it comes to marijuana laws — the people have spoken. The VOTERS have spoken. Like medical marijuana in Los Angeles, it will be those who stand and fight for their legal rights who have the best chance of standing in victory at the end.
The defendant in this case was one of 13 defendants. He argued Nevada law is nonsensical because it permits patients to possess marijuana but makes it illegal to obtain it! They were indicted on 11 counts of sale of a controlled substance for providing medical marijuana to a Las Vegas police officer who had a medical marijuana card.
Lawmakers there have made such a mess of things that even the judge is confused.
“Well why don’t they (the Legislature) make up their mind if they want to make it legal or not,” the judge said. “I’m looking at it thinking I can’t make any sense out of this law.”
In Nevada, one law makes it legal for a medical marijuana patient (cardholder) to produce, deliver or possess marijuana. However, other state and federal laws make it illegal to buy or sell marijuana. Again, elected politicians are thwarting the will of the voters.
The judge dismissed the charges without prejudice — meaning the state could choose to recharge. The defendants could also face charges under federal law.
The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Southern California– including growers, dispensaries and collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call 949-375-4734 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.