United States Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Federal law enforcement will no longer target medical marijuana dispensaries in California that operate legally. That means that Los Angeles and Southern California medical marijuana defense attorneys will have an upper edge. For the first time in the history of the United States, Federal laws are no longer going to be used to prosecute a drug crime. President Obama announced during his campaign that medical marijuana prosecutions would no longer be a priority under his administration.
The new policy has a direct effect on the 13 states that have legalized marijuana laws. Of those 13, only California allows for medical marijuana dispensaries operate legally. Until now, the Feds have not acknowledged the existence of Proposition 215 enacted by the citizens of California in 1996. Also called the Compassionate Use Act, Prop 215, allows for those with a medical need to have a doctor “recommend” the use of marijuana to relieve symptoms.
Under the newly announced policy, the Federal Government will no longer target those individuals that do not violate state laws on marijuana. In order for a dispensary to be legal under California law, and thus immune from Federal prosecution, they must comply with the California Attorney General August, 2008, announcement of compliance as well as other laws.
A dispensary must seek guidance from a Los Angeles based medical marijuana criminal defense attorney in order to make sure that they are not violate the law. If the dispensary can operate legally, then the Feds will leave them alone.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s position is that a medical marijuana dispensary must operate as a nonprofit cooperative. That means the marijuana must be grown by cooperative members to be sold without a profit to other cooperative members. Those members must all have a medical necessity for marijuana to treat their symptoms. The member must have a valid recommendation from a duly licensed doctor. The dispensary must be both licensed and pay taxes on its sales as well as provide security for the facility. There are dozens of other requirements that must be put in place prior to a person opening a legal dispensary.
If you have been arrested or charged with a Los Angeles medical marijuana crime, or if you are under investigation for a Southern California medical marijuana offense, then please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.