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Medical Marijuana Defense

Bay Area Medical Marijuana Attorney

Medical Marijuana Lawyer

While marijuana is illegal under both California and federal law, California law permits, as an exception to the general rule, the possession, cultivation, transportation, distribution and use of marijuana for medical purposes for qualified patients and caregivers. The federal government does not recognize any exception to laws criminalizing marijuana. Whether you are an individual patient, caregiver or a medical marijuana collective or cooperative operating a medical marijuana dispensary, the Law Office of E. Michael Linscheid can assist you.

A medical marijuana patient, caregiver or a medical marijuana collective or cooperative can be subject to criminal prosecution and severe criminal penalties if there is a perception that they are not operating in accordance with state law governing medical marijuana. In California, the laws regulating medical marijuana are complex and constantly changing. In 1996, the voters of the State of California passed Proposition 215 codified as the California Compassionate Use Act in order to permit seriously ill Californians the ability to possess, cultivate, transport, distribute and use marijuana for medical purposes without fear of criminal prosecution in California State courts. In 2003 the State Legislature enacted Senate Bill 420, also referred to as the Medical Marijuana Program Act, in an attempt to clear up uncertainties in the law and to ensure that qualified patients and caregivers were protected from prosecution. Two key components of the Medical Marijuana Program Act were to “Promote uniform and consistent application of the act among the counties within the state” and “[e]nhance the access of patients and caregivers to medical marijuana through collective, cooperative cultivation projects.” California courts, consistent with laws governing medical marijuana, have expressly authorized the distribution of marijuana through storefront dispensaries.

While the passage of laws permitting the possession, cultivation, transportation, distribution and use of marijuana for medical purposes for qualified patients and caregivers has reduced criminal prosecution for marijuana related offenses, local municipalities have increasingly regulated medical marijuana within their communities. California cities and counties are not only regulating, but in some circumstances banning the cultivation and distribution of marijuana for medical purposes. Rather than exclusively seeking criminal prosecution, local municipalities are seeking civil injunctions for violations of nuisance and local zoning laws. Violations of local zoning laws can result in considerable fines and force those collectively and cooperatively cultivating and distributing marijuana to cease operations.

State and local laws regulating medical marijuana within the State of California are complex and constantly changing. Contact the Law Office of E. Michael Linscheid today to consult with a medical marijuana attorney.