Due to a lack of consistency among rulings regarding the sale of medical marijuana in California, the Tuolumne County Superior Court recently dismissed marijuana trafficking charges against four people. All four were arrested during a drug raid at a marijuana dispensary collective. The defendants were accused of selling marijuana for profit.
The raid took place in May 2011. Narcotics agents went undercover, obtained medical marijuana cards and acted like customers at three dispensaries. In connection to these raids, nine people ended up getting arrested.
Aside from the recent dismissal, of the others who were arrested, one pled guilty to possession of marijuana for sale and two others appealed their cases. Charges were dropped in February 2012 against two of those arrested.
One of the defendants, whose case was dismissed on the drug trafficking charge, did plead guilty to possession of psychedelic mushrooms. However, at the completion of a drug treatment program, the possession charge will be dropped.
In looking at the charges related to allegedly selling marijuana for profit, a criminal defense attorney said a review of the collectives’ bookkeeping — conducted by a forensic accountant and certified public accountant — found the collectives were not operating as a for-profit business.
In the end though, the district attorney claims it was a lack of consistency in the law over the past two years that ultimately weakened the evidence against the collectives.
As one can see from reading about this recent dismissal, the law and criminal proceedings regarding alleged drug crimes in California can become quite confusing. However, an attorney with experience handling drug crime cases in the state can help develop a defense strategy that makes the most sense.
Source: The Union Democrat, “DA drops pot traffic charges [original source no longer available],” Christina O’Haver, May 2, 2013