The newly announced directive by the Department of Justice to medical marijuana states are supposed to be clear: No Federal interference into Medical Marijuana states where there are regulations by the State that are followed by sellers and growers, even if the operation is for profit. Click here to see the Memorandum For All United States Attorneys issued August 29, 2013.
Given the nature of marijuana, however, here are some things to keep in mind while every thing takes years, perhaps decades, to get ironed out:
In California, in order to furnish marijuana medically, you must be fully registered with the State as a non-profit collective or cooperative. So in California, making a profit is illegal for the cooperative or collective as a whole. This effectively creates a situation where a marijuana entrepreneur is more likely to go to another State in order to take advantage of much more lenient State laws and the newly announced Federal policy;
If you must carry medical marijuana everywhere you go, avoid placing it into separate baggies, carrying scales, or anything else that may make you look like a dealer to the police. Making it look like you are selling marijuana may make an officer think that you are using your medical marijuana card for illegal purposes, and may result in criminal charges against you. I have personally seen this many times. To get to the bottom line, use common sense if you have card and are transporting marijuana;
I can not tell my clients this enough: Get a medical marijuana card from the County! So long as you have your card and an ID (and of course are not smoking up the car) you will not be arrested. Most people do not know that the card they got from the doctor has no legal effect at all. For more information on California’s Medical Marijuana Program, click here.
Please do not smoke in the car. Responsible medical marijuana users should be able to wait until they get home to smoke. I will never understand why some people just want to attract attention from law enforcement (especially in California!) Also people rarely ask themselves a very simple question: What if someone hits me? Unfortunately, it is the law that you can be charged with a DUI in a car crash even where it is determined that the crash was not your fault.
Our country is finally headed in the right direction when it comes to marijuana possession. But a good thing is easily ruined by not thinking and falling into certain stereotypes.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Sam@Salhablaw.com