SKILLED SAN DIEGO LAWYER DEFENDING CLIENTS AGAINST MARIJUANA POSSESSION CHARGES
Yes, it is a crime. Marijuana is the most common controlled substance encountered by California law enforcement officials. It’s also one of the largest cash crops in California. But despite these facts, if you’re caught with marijuana it can be a problem. That’s why you should call experienced San Diego marijuana possession attorney Elliott N. Kanter. Take the first step. Call the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter at 619-330-5881 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a criminal defense attorney.
IS POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA A FELONY OR MISDEMEANOR? IT DEPENDS, ACCORDING TO SAN DIEGO ATTORNEY
Marijuana possession charges can easily escalate depending on the amount in your possession. California law makes a big distinction between possessing a little marijuana for personal use and possessing it with the intent to sell. If you’re caught with just a little and it’s your first time, it’s usually a misdemeanor. Often, a lawyer can get charges reduced or thrown out. However, if you’re caught with a greater concentration of marijuana, you may be charged with transporting or selling drugs. Those acts are usually considered a felony. If convicted of these offense in San Diego County, you could face serious penalties, including jail time and large fines.
What about medical marijuana? Marijuana is a substance with legitimate and proven medical benefits. California law does allow for the possession of limited amounts of marijuana for medical purposes. (You must have a prescription from a doctor.) However, the cultivation, sale, or transportation of marijuana are serious felonies in California and just a single charge can land you in prison.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAWS IN CALIFORNIA
Many people may be confused as to why marijuana possession is a crime when medical marijuana is legal in the state, which is why it’s so important to understand the laws here in California.The California Medical Marijuana & The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 was passed to give certain patients, with specific medical conditions, legal access to marijuana. Health & Safety Code Section 11362.5 guarantees:
(A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.
(B) To ensure that patients and their primary care-givers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction.
(C), To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede legislation prohibiting persons from engaging in conduct that endangers others, nor to condone the diversion of marijuana for nonmedical purposes.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law: no physician in this state shall be punished, or denied any right or privilege, for having recommended marijuana to a patient for medical purposes.
(d) Section 11357, relating to the possession of marijuana, and Section 11358, relating to the cultivation of marijuana, shall not apply to a patient, or to a patient’s primary caregiver, who possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician.
WHAT ARE THE LAWS RELATED TO OPERATING A MARIJUANA DISPENSARY? THEY’RE COMPLEX, ACCORDING TO SAN DIEGO ATTORNEYS
The California state laws that control the opening and running of medical pot dispensaries are strict and complex. It is an extremely risky legal undertaking. Many counties will not even issue licenses for dispensaries, and that means that opening them is inherently illegal.
In order to open a dispensary in accordance with California law, the business must be classified as a non-profit organization.The state and local procedures that are required of any new business must be followed flawlessly. Also by forming and maintaining positive relationships with state and local government and law enforcement agencies it will help to keep the organization in good standing.
Even if you precisely follow all guidelines, you still subject yourself to federal prosecution as well. However, you are much less likely to be charged in federal court if you comply with state and local laws. It is important to remember that any possession of pot is still a federal crime. More states are now in favor of legalized medical pot and the current federal law is under study.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ARE CHARGED WITH MARIJUANA POSSESSION? CONTACT ONE OF THE TOP LAW FIRMS IN SAN DIEGO
As you can see, medical marijuana laws in California are complex. If you have a medical card to buy and carry marijuana, you are not breaking the law. But, if you are not legally entitled to possess marijuana, it is a crime to do so and you could face serious charges if convicted. If you are ever arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter can offer you a free consultation to discuss the legal options available to you, all you have to do is make the call.
HOW CAN LAWYERS IN SAN DIEGO HELP YOU FIGHT MARIJUANA POSSESSION CHARGES?
If you’ve been charged, don’t plead guilty. Give the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter a call. Our lawyers will explore all the facts. Our law firm may be able to negotiate with the prosecutors to get your charges reduced and even get your cannabis returned. We can also explore the details of the search and see if all procedures were properly followed. The key to defense often includes scrutinizing how the evidence was obtained. Questions law firms may ask include:
- Was there probable cause to stop your car?
- What was searched? You, your car, or home? Did police have the right to search your property?
- Can possession or control of the pot be proven?
- Was there evidence to establish sales of marijuana?
- Was there a proper chain of custody and testing of the marijuana?
LAW FIRM WITH OVER 30 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE CAN HELP YOU FIGHT MARIJUANA POSSESSION CHARGES
If you are facing marijuana possession charges, take the first step and call experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer Elliott N. Kanter. Your marijuana case is very sensitive and we will do everything we can to help you avoid a conviction and fight for the best possible result. We might be able to find a way negotiate down your charges or have the whole matter thrown out.
Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience defending clients in both felony and misdemeanor cases. Our firm has a long list of practice areas, including drug trafficking, possession, sale, manufacturing, and other drug crimes, suspended license, elder abuse, theft, sex crimes, domestic violence, DUI, juvenile offenses, and probation violations. Don’t delay in contacting the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter by phone at 619-330-5881 or by email at [email protected] for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. During your consultation, we will give you legal advice regarding your case and together we’ll get started on protecting your rights.