June 2, 2011 By Wallin & Klarich

Marijuana possession is a crime in California, except if you are medically prescribed marijuana and you used and possess it consistent with state and local law.

California protects the list of medical marijuana patients for patient confidentiality reasons. For instance, an employer could not normally check whether a potential or existing employee is being treated for an STD, because that would be an unacceptable intrusion on a person’s right to privacy.

But that’s not the end of the issue. Your employer may require you to submit to random drug tests as a condition of employment, in which case you must disclose your medical marijuana use or risk being fired once you test positive. Once you disclose your medical marijuana use, it is up to the employer to decide whether to fire or decline to hire you, because California courts have held that employers CAN legally discriminate against medical marijuana users.

Also, note that marijuana cultivation and sale is still illegal under federal law. While this does not directly affect the individual patient, medical marijuana dispensaries and co-ops may be subject to federal raids, and any patient information will be confiscated. Although President Barack Obama has stated that the federal government will not raid marijuana dispensaries that operate consistent with state law, the threat of a federal raid is a constant concern, especially if your dispensary cultivates and sells a high volume of marijuana. Thus, if the dispensary is ever raided, the personal information you submitted to the dispensary will be in government hands and you may be investigated further.

If you are arrested for marijuana possession but have a valid prescription for medical marijuana, call a seasoned Southern California drug crime attorney. Medical marijuana prescriptions have helped many patients ease their pain, but you also risk certain consequences, including the increased likelihood of arrest and scrutiny by your employer. That’s why you need a good Southern California drug crime lawyer to explain these issues to you.

If you have been accused of a drug crime, you will need a seasoned Southern California criminal defense lawyer to help you through these proceedings. At Wallin & Klarich, we have helped accused of drug crimes for over 30 years. Call us today at (888) 280-6839 or visit us at our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.

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