10/18/2011

WHY YOUR CALIFORNIA MARIJUANA CARD IS NOT A LICENSE TO ACT STUPIDLY

I know from my own personal experience, as an adolescent, and as a young adult that pot can make you stupid. I tried to smoke pot and refrain from doing stupid things, really I did, but I always ended up on the wrong end of the stupid stick every time I smoked marijuana. Imagine that many of my client’s are simply astounded when they come into my office after having been arrested for transporting, growing, or possessing more marijuana that they can smoke in six months. They usually get pulled over for some dumb thing like running a stop sign while driving a car with a broken tail light during a long cell phone conversation. The cop walks up, the motorist rolls down the window and a huge cloud of marijuana smoke wafts out of the car into his face and the motorist says: “Hey I have a marijuana card for that 10 pounds of weed.” The cop says: Tell it to the judge.” I say you need to hire me to defend you. Visit my San Francisco criminal defense attorney web site to find out how.

Although most people do not know this, a medical marijuana card is only a defense to California state charges like transportation, cultivation, possession, and possession for sales. A defense does not prevent the cops from arresting you; it only gives you the right to explain to a judge or jury why the marijuana in your possession is related to your medical condition which has been diagnosed by a licensed California doctor. Your doctor must give you a recommendation that is based upon that diagnosis. Most importantly, the marijuana you are growing, possessing, or transporting must be reasonably related to your medical needs. You are required to renew your recommendation every year if the recommendation in fact contains an expiration date.

If you are selling dime bags, and you are in possession of sales ledgers or pay/owe sheets and/or you have 30 messages in your cell phone requesting that you sell your customers a bag, a marijuana card is not a valid defense. If you wish to follow the law in California, by the way, this law does not apply to the federal laws, so don’t bring weed to federal land, here are some tips:

1. Never grow, transport, or possess more than you can say with a straight face is reasonably related to your medical needs.

2. Never let you doctor’s recommendation expire.

3. Never sell, offer to sell, or even give away marijuana because these are all felonies even if you have a recommendation. (This article does not apply to care-givers which requires much more discussion than this limited article can permit)

4. If you plan to grow your own, do not steal electricity from the power company. Please get a licensed electrician to wire your grow operation. I have seen too many clients get busted after some butt head tweaked electrician causes an electrical fire and burns down his or someone else's house with his grow.

Best of health to ya’

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