Archives : Medical Marijuana Crackdown
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.
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