Two men have been arrested after local authorities discovered a marijuana growing operation in Palmdale. Edgar Damian and Luis Ascencion were taken into custody after a team of law enforcement agents discovered over 600 marijuana plants growing in a home on East Avenue P-2 shortly before 4 o’clock in the afternoon on Monday. Sheriff’s Deputies first became suspicious when a check into the vehicle license plate of a car parked in front of the home revealed that its owner, 24-year-old Damian, was named in a felony warrant for a narcotics possession case earlier this month. Officers at the scene called for backup and when help arrived, the group went into the home, whose front door is said to have been open at the time. Officers said the home smelled strongly of marijuana and noted that every room of the home, including the garage, had been converted for use as a hydroponic growing operation. Officers eventually found that the operation had been illegally diverting electricity. Damian and Ascension were found in the rear of the home and had not heard the deputies entering the front door because of how loud the ventilation system throughout the home was. Sheriff’s Deputies said the suspects, who are from Mexico, admitted to starting their cultivation operation three months ago when they arrived in the United States. They claimed, however, that they had not yet sold any marijuana. Law enforcement officials estimated that the street value of the marijuana confiscated in the bust would be roughly $1 million. The two men were booked into a local jail on charges of cultivation of marijuana as well as electricity theft. Both men are currently being held in lieu of $30,000 bail and are scheduled to appear in the Antelope Valley Superior courthouse at some point today. Damian had been arrested for an unknown felony narcotics crime on June 1st, but was released after posting $10,000 bail on June 4th. Facing charges of this magnitude is likely to be an uphill battle for both Damian and Ascencion. It is legal, within certain limits, to grow marijuana in the state of California, but to have grown that many plants is likely illegal and may subject both men to some serious legal consequences. Many drug crimes in the state of California are “Strike” offenses under California’s “Three Strikes” laws. Under this “tough on crime” legislation, a person convicted of three eligible felony criminal offenses is sentenced to life in a state prison.
Tagged as: los angeles drug laws, los angeles drug offense, los angeles marijuana laws, medicinal marijuana laws
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
One of the most confusing areas of criminal law is Los Angeles medical marijuana law. It's extremely rare when the state law allows something that federal law strictly forbids. On issue after issue, no matter how controversial, California state law and federal law lines up. However, when it comes to medical marijuana, the state and federal laws diverge in a major way. In 1996, Prop 215 passed which legalized medical marijuana throughout the state of California. Later, SB 420 helped add some definition to the law. While California has always been progressive in how it handles the law, the federal government moves much slower. This is also true historically, as the federal government abolished slavery, allowed women to vote and passed civil rights laws decades after various states had already done so. As a result of this strong conflict between state and federal law over medical marijuana, Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys play a pivotal role for any medical marijuana business. Medical marijuana dispensaries provide people with health needs the opportunity to use a drug that's perfectly legal under California law. However, there have been countless federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries over the years. These federal raids are extremely frustrating, because Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries are legal...in California. Unfortunately, when federal agents are involved, federal law tends to trump state law. Again, this is what makes a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney is so important. Finding an attorney who is experienced with medical marijuana law, drug crimes law, Los Angeles courts and other legal matters can often be the difference between spending a decade in jail and being able to walk out of the court room a free person. Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin is a top-notch criminal defense firm that aggressively defends anyone arrested for medical marijuana crimes. For our clients' convenience, we have offices in the vicinity of courthouses in Antelope Valley, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Fernando, South Bay, Ventura, Valencia, Whittier, and San Bernardino, and we are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our main office is directly across the street from the Van Nuys Court and the Van Nuys LAPD Jail.
Tagged as: medicinal marijuana laws
Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin LLP has been recognized as one of the best U.S. law firms, based on the experience, professionalism, and ethics of its criminal defense lawyers and attorneys. We aggressively defend clients in all Southern California courtrooms on state and federal charges, including DUI, DMV, misdemeanor, felony, juvenile cases, in the following communities and courthouses.