Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog
     


Marijuana Crimes in Los Angeles

Posted on: February 5, 2009 at 7:54 a.m.

Marijuana can create a tangled legal web because while in Los Angeles it is legal to have medical marijuana, the federal government has not made it legal. In Los Angeles, there are medical marijuana dispensaries and individuals who grow marijuana illegally and smuggle it throughout the city. Los Angeles drug defense attorneys know that their clients could be bombarded by legal troubles from all sides when it comes to defending marijuana charges.

For example,a raid by federal agents of several medical marijuana dispensaries on the west side of Los Angeles has generated outrage among advocates of the drug, some of whom had expressed hope that the federal government would halt such crackdowns once President Obama took office. At least three groups of officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration simultaneously served search warrants on dispensaries Tuesday.

In 1996, California and Los Angeles voters passed Proposition 215, which legalized marijuana for seriously ill patients and reduced criminal penalties for possession. But that conflicts with federal law. Medical marijuana advocates were hopeful when Obama, while on the campaign trail, said he supported prescriptions for medical marijuana as long as the drug was regulated and that he didn't plan to use Justice Department resources to circumvent state laws. Tuesday's raids showed that, so far, things haven't changed.

On the flip side, at least 15 people have been arrested in connection with the scheme to ship 1,800 pounds of pot in 200 concrete burros, which were discovered last month in a shipping container at the Port of Long Beach. The donkey shipment was believed to have originated in Mexico and had been sent to a fictitious business in Fontana. U.S. customs officials acting on a tip discovered the contraband and alerted nearly a dozen agencies that make up the Los Angeles Border Enforcement Security Task Force. Marijuana was found hidden inside the hollow lawn statues, which are 3 feet tall and weigh 100 pounds, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice said.

If you're facing drug charges, you could be dealing with state agencies or federal agencies, and you need a qualified drug defense lawyer who knows the difference between the laws and the penalties of those laws. The marijuana defense lawyers at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin have fifty years combined experience dealing with the various marijuana laws throughout the city of Los Angeles, the state of California and the United States federal laws.

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