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Articles Posted in Marijuana Offenses

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background_check_job_employment-300x300In November 2016, California voters approved Prop 64, making the recreational use of marijuana legal in the state. However, this does not mean that every person in California can do as he or she wants when it comes to the drug. There are still a number of ways that using marijuana can lead to you facing criminal charges.

Many people are confused about California’s legal marijuana laws. Here are some common questions we have heard, along with answers to those questions.

  • Can I Drive While Possessing Marijuana?

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On Nov. 8, California voters can choose to vote for or against Proposition 64, which would legalize recreational marijuana use for adults over the age of 21.DUI_Marijuana_Drugs-300x201.jpg

What does it mean if Prop 64 passes? Essentially, it would mean that any person over the age of 21 could possess, buy, or transport up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants in his or her home.

However, while the common way to describe the effect of the law is to say that it “legalizes” marijuana, it is important to know that it would not make every act involving marijuana legal. So how would passing Prop 64 affect marijuana crimes in California?

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Medical marijuana patients and caregivers may possess only that amount of marijuana that is reasonably related to the patient’s current medical needs – with or without a physician’s approval, according to a decision by the California Court of Appeals.

If you are facing charges of marijuana possession, it is important to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney to help you with your case. The experienced drug crime attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can defend you against medical marijuana possession charges by arguing the marijuana was necessary for your medical needs.

Littlefield v. County of Humboldt

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Recently, the California State Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement officials can seize a package smelling of marijuana without first obtaining a warrant. However, a judge must sign off on a warrant in order for law enforcement personnel to search the contents of the package. If you ever find yourself in a situation where a police officer suspects that a package in your possession contains marijuana, here are 5 very important things that you should know:

1. The Sentencing For Marijuana Charges

The severity of the sentencing varies depending on which specific marijuana crime your are charged with. Also, having a prior drug related conviction can also elevate the severity of the sentencing. The intractable chart below illustrates the sentencing for different marijuana related charges. Place your mouse over each bar on the graph to reveal a brief explanation of each figure.

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In the context of California medical marijuana laws, a “primary caregiver” is an individual or facility that has “consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of a patient” over time. (California Health & Safety Code 11362.5(e)). Consistency is critical to meeting this definition. A patient can elect to frequent any dispensary that he or she chooses. The patient can visit different dispensaries on a single day or any subsequent day. The statutory definition includes some clinics, health care facilities, residential care facilities, and hospices. However, in light of the holding in People v. Mentch (2008) 45 Cal.4th 274, 283, to qualify as a primary caregiver, more aid to a person’s health must occur beyond merely dispensing marijuana to a given customer.
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The California Legislature set forth what types of facilities could qualify as “primary caregivers.” The legislature restricted the definition to one involving a significant and long-term commitment to the patient’s health, safety, and welfare. The only facilities which the Legislature authorized to serve as “primary caregivers” are clinics, health care facilities, residential care facilities, home health agencies, and hospices which actually provide medical care or supportive services to qualified patients. (California Health & Safety Code 11362.7(d)(1)).

For over 30 years Wallin & Klarich has been defending thousands of clients charged with marijuana related offenses. There are many defenses to a marijuana case in California. If you or loved one has been charged with a drug crime, call our law offices now for a free consultation, 888-280-6839. With offices in San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura and Orange Counties, we can defend you no matter where you live. We will be there when you call.

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The issue of whether to prohibit the sale of medical marijuana by means of dispensaries remains a controversial issue in California. Many local governmental bodies in California have sought to impose a moratorium on the licensing of marijuana dispensaries. The basis of such a ban would be based on an argument that the activity related to these dispensaries violates federal law. Cities have also used zoning ordinances to control the licensing of dispensaries and the attendant problems that accompany them in unwanted areas. In addition, cities may seek to condition their operation on not violating any federal or state law, which is akin to banning them, since their primary activities will always violate federal law as it now exists. The reason the legality of medical marijuana causes measured confusion is the overlap of local, state, and federal laws
With the severe potential consequences of being convicted of possession of marijuana for sale combined with the ease that one can be falsely accused it is extremely important for anyone facing these charges in Southern California to consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. A skilled and defense attorney will protect your rights and do everything possible to raise a viable and effective defense to these charges. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Southern California you should immediately contact the law offices of Wallin & Klarich for a legal consultation. Call us now at 888-280-6839. We have offices in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Diego, and Orange County. We will be there when you call.

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The question the court faced was whether the police needed to obtain a search warrant when they smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from a hotel room. In a decision that will be very good news for all persons who smoke marijuana in the privacy of their home or in a hotel they may visit, the court of appeals threw our the defendants convictions and ordered that all of the evidence seized during the search of the hotel room must be suppressed. Without this evidence the cases will have to be dismissed.

The courts decision was based upon the fact that the marijuana possession of less than 28.5 grams is a “non-jailable” offense. This means it is not a serous offense and thus the police cannot claim that they must be allowed to enter your home or hotel room without a warrant in order to seize this evidence. The court reasoned that since all the police can do if they in fact find you in possession of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana is issue you a citation there is no “emergency” so great that would allow the police to enter your residence or hotel without first obtaining a search warrant.

Why is this so critical to those persons that want to be free from unlawful searches and seizures of their home and property under our constitution? It is so important because police have been using the “smell of marijuana” coming from the residence excuse to unlawfully break into peoples home for decades. The “risk’ of harm when police storm into your home is great. Often police will handcuff everyone they see in the home and they will conduct a search of your entire home looking for anything “unlawful” they might find. With this court having the guts to see through this police “ploy” this will no longer work for law enforcement when they would like to enter your home or hotel room to attempt to find evidence so they might arrest you.

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Part 1

Yesterday we began the first part in a series of blogs outlining California’s medical marijuana laws and how they conflict with Federal law. This has been an ongoing struggle for medical marijuana activists, and recent raids on prominent dispensaries have only raised more questions in the debate.

Dispensary owners are fighting a battle on two fronts. First and foremost, there is the federal government looming over their heads, as federal law still prohibits all marijuana growth and distribution. Then there are local governments to deal with. Several municipalities throughout California are trying to circumvent medical marijuana laws by raising zoning and permit issues in an attempt to shut down dispensaries.

About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.