San Bernardino Criminal Defense Lawyer
Medical Marijuana Defense in Riverside
Over the past ten years, society’s view of marijuana has evolved and continues to do so. Penalties have decreased and many “legal” means to cultivate and consume marijuana have become law. California’s Compassionate Use Act now allows individuals and caregivers to possess and cultivate marijuana to treat a large variety of medical ailments. “Collectives” may be established top grow large quantities of marijuana, enough to supply the needs of all collective members, as long as each member possesses a marijuana “prescription” from a doctor.
Collectives can donate cultivated marijuana to store front dispensaries, where the marijuana is then sold to individuals possessing valid prescriptions. Growers are legally allowed to recover costs associated with the cultivation process, but may not operate for profit.
If Medical Marijuana Is Legal, Then Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Despite these laws, prosecutors everywhere continue to charge growers, dispensary owners, caregivers and others with felonies such as “possession for sale,” “cultivation,” “conspiracy,” etc. The prosecuting authorities behave as though the Compassionate Use Act simply did not exist.
Marijuana defense, just like defense of controlled substance cases, involves search warrants, Fourth Amendment issues, even wiretaps. Your lawyer must be a competent constitutional lawyer to adequately defend you in a case such as this. Mark McDonald is an expert.
If you have a lawyer knowledgeable in this area of law, he or she will easily convince a jury that the charges are unfounded and to acquit the client. However, you lawyer must understand the complicated path of preparing a defense based on the Act. Mark McDonald has the state’s best known expert in this area, who testifies for the defense at trial and wins. Mark McDonald specializes in these cases and has never lost one in front of a jury. Without the Act, marijuana charges carry the following penalties:
- Possession of under one ounce is an infraction, not punishable with jail
- Possession of an ounce or more is a misdemeanor punishable by six months jail
- Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana on a school ground is a misdemeanor punishable by 10 days jail
- Possession of marijuana for sale is punishable by up to 3 years County Prison (there is more prison time if the quantities exceed certain weight cut-offs)
- Cultivation of marijuana is a felony punishable by up the 3 years County Prison
- Maintaining a location where marijuana is grown is a felony or misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of up to 3 years County Prison
Setting Up a Legal Collective, Grow or Dispensary in CA
Many of the pitfalls above can be avoided if you have an attorney who can help you establish the operation that is legal from the beginning. Such an operation is not subject to attack (though the cops will still try). Setting up a medical marijuana operation is complicated and detail-oriented. Mark McDonald regularly organizes such operations and advises clients on how to run them while avoiding legal trouble.
Are you considering cultivating marijuana, starting a collective or dispensary, or even purchasing marijuana legally for your own use? Contact Mark McDonald to assist you. Call (909) 443-1599 today!