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How Legal Medical Marijuana Possession Can Still Result In Your Arrest And Drug Possession Charges – California Health and Safety Code Section 11359

It was recently reported that probation conditions prohibiting marijuana apply when the restriction of marijuana is reasonably related to a defendant’s current criminal case.

In December 2006, Thomas Theodore Brooks was arrested after being found in possession of cannabis and methamphetamine. The trial court placed him on formal probation for three years. One of the terms of his probations required that he not be in possession of illegal drugs unless on the recommendation of a physician.

In January 2009, Brooks was arrested again after two pounds of marijuana was found in his car during a traffic stop. Although he had a physician’s recommendation for medical marijuana use, he was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale because of the quantity of marijuana he had. Instead of being charged separately for this offense, the prosecution moved to revoke Brooke’s probation. A probation violation hearing was held the following month. Brooks testified that the marijuana was for his personal use and the quantity he possessed was justified because he cooked the marijuana into a variety of foods instead of just smoking it. His doctor also testified on Brooks’ behalf, saying the medical marijuana was recommended for asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and shoulder pain.

The court, however, found that Brooks possessed marijuana for sale, not for personal use, thus violating the terms of his probation. The probation was then reinstated, but modified to prohibit Brooks from any use or possession of controlled substances. The court found that “the trial court has the discretion to impose probation conditions that prohibit even legal activity” and Brooks presented “no compelling reason for making an exception for medical marijuana.”

Possession of marijuana for sale is a very serious offense in California. California Health and Safety Code Section 11359 makes the possession of marijuana for sale a felony and those convicted can be punished by imprisonment for up to three years in state prison. Actual sales or offers to sell can result in a penalty of up to seven years in state prison. See California Health and Safety Code Section 11360-11361.

If you or a loved one has been charged with drug possession or sales, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced drug defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. The defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been handling drug cases in Southern California for more than 30 years and know how to aggressively attack the charges. Contact Wallin & Klarich today at (888) 280-6839 for an evaluation of your case, and visit us on the web at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.

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