California’s Compassionate Use Act
Throughout our careers, the attorneys with the Law Offices of James Blatt have represented individuals charged with possession for sale, transportation, and cultivation of marijuana in the courts throughout Los Angeles, the State of California, and in the federal courts of the United States.
Currently, we provide representation and advice to numerous individuals and those seeking the protection of the Compassionate Use Act under the provisions of California’s Proposition 215. In 1996, California Voters approved an initiative providing a legal defense under state law for certain individuals who cultivate and possess medicinal marijuana. Constantly monitoring and applying the latest developments in the law, we successfully represent those who cultivate medicinal marijuana, those who transport it, as well as the cooperatives and pharmacies that provide medicinal marijuana to their patients.
The use, possession, transportation, and cultivation of medicinal marijuana is an area of state and federal law which is constantly evolving. The Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of James Blatt support the lawful use of medicinal marijuana and effectively track the opinions, activities, and views of the courts, law enforcement, and politicians relating to use, cultivation, transportation, and sales of medicinal marijuana.
California Health and Safety Code 11357 (possession of marijuana/canabis) generally provides that anyone possessing less than 28.5 grams of marijuana can only be fined, and may not be arrested so long as that person has proper identification. A citation to appear in court, similar to a traffic ticket, must be issued. Possession of a greater amount of marijuana can result in an immediate arrest and a sentence of up to six months in the county jail.
Cultivation, harvesting, or processing marijuana, a felony, is a violation of California’s Health and Safety Code 11358 can result in a state prison sentence up to three years. Possession for sale of marijuana, also a felony, a violation of California’s Health and Safety Code 11359 (possession for sale of marijuana), can result in the same three year state prison sentence.
California’s Health and Safety Code 11360 prohibits the transportation, sale, importation, giving away, or furnishing of marijuana. A violation of this section can result in a prison sentence as lengthy as four years. If the amount of marijuana involved is less than 28.5 grams, the crime is a misdemeanor, with a fine only. As with simple possession of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana, a person charged with transportation of less than 28.5 grams marijuana may not be arrested so long as they possess proper identification.
California Compassionate Use Act of 1996, Proposition 215 provides immunity for certain individuals charged with many of the marijuana crimes described above. With proper representation, those who lawfully possess a physician’s recommendation for medicinal marijuana, those who lawfully operate a medicinal marijuana collective, as well as those who cultivate and transport medicinal marijuana, can avoid prosecution and conviction.
We at the Law Offices of James E. Blatt represent a wide variety of individuals seeking advice and representation in the area of medicinal marijuana. Since the law’s inception, we have represented those who cultivate, transport, and provide medicinal marijuana to those in need. We also provide legal services to the medical marijuana collectives that provide medicinal marijuana to their patients.
Despite the protections afforded through the California Compassionate Use and California’s recognition that there are scientifically proven medicinal benefits to the use of marijuana, the possession, sale, distribution, and transportation of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
In order to provide the best representation in the constantly evolving area regarding the legality of medical marijuana, the attorneys with the Law Offices of James E. Blatt make great efforts to monitor and track medical marijuana’s latest developments, such as the California Attorney’s General’s recent medical marijuana opinion in August, 2008 and the most recent California Supreme Court case addressing medical marijuana, People v. Mentch (2008).
Recently, the United States Attorney General, representing the view of the new presidential administration under Barak Obama, outlined a shift in enforcement of federal drug laws, indicating they would end the Bush administration’s policy of raiding distributors of medical marijuana. Despite this new policy, however, the use, cultivation, possession, sale, or transportation of medicinal marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
The issue of the scientific and medicinal use of marijuana remains one of constant debate. For the latest information regarding medicinal marijuana, or to seek representation for a medical marijuana issue, contact one of the Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys with the Law Offices of James Blatt. We have a proven track record of success protecting those who believe in and support the use of medicinal marijuana.
California Senate Bill 420
Local Medical Marijuana Cultivation and Possession Guidelines