California Medical Marijuana Information
Since the passage of Prop. 215, patients have continued to be arrested, jailed and prosecuted, under the false claim that the voter initiative only provides an affirmative defense for seriously ill patients.
The assertion that all medical marijuana is headed for seriously ill patients is misleading. Statistics from the California Branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) shows that a survey of Californians reports the top three reported uses of medicinal marijuana:
- 40% Chronic Pain
- 22% AIDS-Related
- 15% Mood Disorders
- (23% All other categories)
In California there is no state regulation or standard of the cultivation and/or distribution of medical marijuana. California leaves the establishment of any guidelines to local jurisdictions, which can vary widely. For example, Marin County allows up to six mature plants, and/or a half pound of dried marijuana. It’s neighbor, Sonoma County permits possession of three pounds of marijuana, and allows cultivation of up to 99 plants, and physicians may recommend more for “exceptional patients.”
Local and state law enforcement counterparts cannot distinguish between illegal marijuana grows and grows that qualify as medical exemptions. Many self-designated medical marijuana growers are, in fact, growing marijuana for illegal, recreational use.
Elected law enforcement officials, i.e. sheriffs and district attorneys in California have been targeted by the marijuana lobby. Political action by groups such as NORML have endorsed and supported candidates favorable to medical marijuana. NORML tracks local elections and takes credit for the defeats of anti-marijuana candidates. Last year, the DEA arrested a major marijuana trafficker in Humboldt County who was an undeclared candidate for sheriff.
The DEA and its local and state counterparts routinely report that large-scale drug traffickers hide behind and invoke Prop. 215, even when there is no evidence of any medical claim. In fact, many large-scale marijuana cultivators and traffickers escape state prosecution because of bogus medical marijuana claims. Prosecutors are reluctant to charge these individuals because of the state of confusion that exists in California. Therefore, high-level traffickers posing as caregivers are able to sell illegal drugs with impunity.
For a free consultation with Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Avi Zvulun, call (818) 720-5288.