Archives : 2012 : April
Although California SB 420 was approved in 2004 setting forth the guidelines regarding the use, possession, distribution and growing of medical marijuana in California, four U.S. attorneys in California are conducting a statewide crack down on medical cannabis cultivators and sellers. They have sent warnings in San Diego, San Francisco and other California cities to state compliant facilities advising them that they may be in violation of federal laws regarding drug free school zones, forcing these businesses to either move or shut down. Federal attorneys in California have also sent hundreds of letters to landlords who rent their properties to cannabis dispensaries advising them that their property may be subject to civil forfeiture, and that they could face prison time. Federal attorneys have even gone so far as to threaten newspapers and magazines that advertise marijuana.
Federal regulators have also cracked down on banks in California, Colorado and Michigan that do business with dispensaries barring them from accepting cash deposits or processing credit and debit card transactions from these state cannabis dispensaries. The IRS has also recently handed down a $2.5 million dollar ruling against a major California medical cannabis dispensary citing a portion of the IRS tax code that was meant to target drug cartels, barring marijuana businesses and dispensaries from taking business tax deductions. As a result, the IRS is now seeking millions of dollars in back taxes against this California dispensary company. In Rhode Island, the governor has shut down the state’s dispensary program because the Justice Department was threatening to prosecute employees who worked in the production or distribution of marijuana. Michigan attorney general and the courts are working to get rid of the state’s marijuana law program even though the law passed with 63% public approval.
The possession, use, sale, distribution, growing and/or transportation of marijuana that does not fall under the California medical marijuana statute is illegal in California. California Health & Safety Code Section 11018 defines marijuana as “ all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin.” Persons who are caught violating the California marijuana laws may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony and subject to imprisonment, jail time, fines and or both (California Health & Safety Code Sections 11357-11362.9).
If you have been caught up in the Federal government’s recent medical cannabis crack down in California and are facing California marijuana possession, use, sale, distribution, transportation or other related marijuana charges, you should contact a California Criminal Lawyer to defend you. The attorney will build a strong defense to get your charges reduced, probation, enrollment in a drug or alcohol treatment program, community service or get your case closed.
NFL rules prevent that any bonus or award be offered to players directly or indirectly for personal fouls or injuries intentionally inflicted against opposing players. Gregg Williams, assistant coach of the Saints, who left after 36-32 playoff defeat to the San Francisco 49 team, to become the St. Louis Ram’s defensive coordinator, was suspended indefinitely by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for violating the pay to injure bounty rule. Assistant coach Williams was allegedly heard on an audio tape offering his team bonuses to injure opposing players on the San Francisco 49 team, including running back Frank Gore, quarterback Alex Smith, wideout Michael Crabtree and backup receiver Kyle Williams. Williams’ speech was delivered less than two months before the Saints’ bounty scandal became public and was revealed to Yahoo! Sports by Sean Pamphilon, who had access to the team’s functions during the 2011 season.
The NFL has also decided to uphold its discipline ruling of Sean Payton, the former New Orleans Saints coach, who has been suspended for the entire 2012 season, general manager Mickey Loomis, who has been suspended for eight games and assistant coach Joe Vitt, who has been suspended for six games regarding the New Orleans Saints’ “bounty program”. The NFL Players Association has retained the international law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski to represent the union in the “bounty” program matter and to work with the NFLPA lawyers in assisting the players who were allegedly involved with representation in the “bounty” program. The League is still deciding whether 27 players who were involved in the bounty program which was in place during the 2009 to 2011 seasons will also be disciplined.
Possible Criminal Charges
While players could face criminal charges relating to this bounty program, a majority of legal scholars agree that it would be rare for prosecutors to charge players for on field acts since sport leagues generally have the authority to police themselves, and cases are tough for prosecutors to prove that football injuries were caused by an accidental assault or battery. However, players could be charged with conspiracy to commit assault and battery under state or federal laws if it can be established that the Saints were conducting a criminal activity by enticing players to injure others for money.
According to the NFL investigation, the Saints bounty system included payouts of $1,500 for “knockouts” and $1,000 for “cart-offs.” There was also alleged evidence of a $10,000 bounty on Brett Favre and a $5,000 bounty on Aaron Rodgers. Therefore, players could also be charged with tax evasion regarding the alleged payouts if they received the money and never declare it on their tax returns. However, since Favre and Rodgers were never knocked out even though they were targeted there would be no tax evasion charges regarding bounties on them.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with an assault or battery case or conspiracy to commit an assault and/or battery or are facing other criminal charges, you should contact a criminal defense attorney to defend your rights. The attorney can vigorously build a strong defense on your behalf, negotiate with prosecutors to reduce your charges or get you community service, probation or your charges suspended.
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