Posted By : Alisha Wood | Date : 04-29-2016
California’s marijuana laws are vague at best, and while new legislation continues to be proposed, not much has been done to provide clarity to the industry or law enforcement regarding the extent of legality of medicinal marijuana. Medical marijuana dispensaries are not difficult to track down in San Diego, but what gives these shops the right to sell, how much is too much for you to carry, where can you smoke and what happens if you are questioned for a DUID? We have your answers so you can confidently know your rights.
You may be shocked to learn that it has been over a decade since SB 420 was passed to establish guidelines to Prop. 215, the proposition to legalize medicinal marijuana. This bill was passed in 2004 to regulate and outline specifics of marijuana legislation, regulation, and enforcement. The bill is extensive and thorough, but here are a few need-to-know policies that the average medicinal marijuana patient should be aware of:
- Prop. 215 does not explicitly legalize the sale of medicinal marijuana. SB 420 authorizes members of a collective (we know these as dispensaries) to charge for their expenses as they grow and sell on a “non-profit” basis. This means you are not permitted to sell your excess medicine to others; this right is only given to growers who become members of a non-profit collective.
- As a medical marijuana patient, with an official recommendation from an approved physician, you are entitled to own and grow whatever is necessary to treat your illness. However, you may be prosecuted if you are caught with over 6 mature or 12 immature plants, or ½ pound (8 oz.) of processed cannabis.
- SB 420 outlines where marijuana cannot be smoked: no smoking zones, within 1000 feet of a school or youth center (except in a private residence), on school buses, or in a motor vehicle that is being operated (including a boat).
Last year, Governor Brown passed three bills that comprise the California Medical Marijuana and Safety Act, regulating licensing, cultivation & distribution and physicians’ responsibilities. The measure that affects consumers most is found in SB 643 of the act, stating that a license application may be denied if the applicant has been convicted of a felony.
DUI and Marijuana
There are no solid statistics linking marijuana to fatal motor vehicle accidents; however, marijuana is treated similarly to other prescription drugs when it comes to DUID convictions. The trouble with this is THC may remain in the bloodstream long after the effects of the drug have worn off. It is very difficult to prove that someone is under the influence of marijuana through a blood test, so officers often will call in a Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) to assess whether you may be impaired from marijuana. He or she will check for dilated pupils, elevated pulse rate and blood pressure, smells, tremors, dry mouth and short-term memory impairment. If the DRE determines you may be under the influence of marijuana, you will be taken to the station and submitted for a blood test.
It is important to remain calm in these situations. Often panic or stress may induce some signs of impairment. There is no regulation regarding the THC limit in a DUID in California, which gives you a good chance of contesting the charges and having your record salvaged, with the right help.
Your Best Defense
If you have been charged for a DUID or possession of medicinal marijuana, it is important to know your rights and find representation that can fight for your freedom. Contact the Law Offices of Alisha A. Wood for legal help from a team who truly cares about your future: (619) 356-2249.