Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Medical Marijuana in Southern California

Posted on: September 22, 2009 at 5:24 p.m.

Los Angeles medical marijuana is an issue that keeps Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys hard at work.  Defending medical marijuana charges involves complex areas of the law, and only a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will have an adequate understanding of the law. The city of San Diego voted two weeks ago to form a committee to investigate existing laws regarding the use of marijuana for medical purposes and how those laws might be further clarified in the future.   The task force comes in response to the growing number of medical marijuana dispensaries that have recently sprung up in the area.  Since the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996, seriously ill Californians have been able to procure and consume marijuana under the care of a physician.  Currently, eight medical marijuana dispensaries are legally permitted to operate in the city of San Diego with potentially dozens more operating illegally.  San Diego has at least 30 permit applications for medical marijuana dispensaries still pending approval.  However, the city has suspended the approval of the pending applications until it can further review zoning laws that may be applicable. The proposed 11-member task force will include medical marijuana patients, social service providers, dispensary operators, legal professionals, physicians, law enforcement agents, small business owners, community planners and a land use professional.  Over the course of a 12-month period, the panel will meet periodically to review existing city guidelines for medical marijuana patients and caregivers, the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries and growing cooperatives and current law enforcement regulations. Because the use of marijuana for non-medical reasons without a doctor’s supervision is still illegal in the state of California, many San Diego and Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries still operate largely in a dark gray area.  Indeed, the manufacturing and selling of marijuana are still considered criminal offenses that are punishable by jail time.  Further complicating the matter is the fact that United States federal laws still classify all possession, manufacturing or distribution of marijuana as criminal offenses that can land you in jail.  This conflict between state and federal laws regarding the use of medical marijuana unfortunately leads to the arrest of many people in Los Angeles every year.  If you have been arrested on medical marijuana related charges, call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today.

Tagged as: medicinal marijuana laws


Damien Dennis on November 20, 2009 at 2:23 p.m. wrote:

To whom it may concern: I am searching for lawyers who have experience with helping the start up of medicinal marijuana dispensing collectives.

Elizabeth on November 18, 2009 at 3:18 p.m. wrote:

Personally, I don't see much difference between marijuana and tobacco or alcohol. All of them can be addictive to the right people, and alcohol especially can alter your behavior and functioning.

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