San Diego

619-796-1765

1901 First Avenue, 2nd Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

Los Angeles

323-577-8529

355 South Grand Avenue, #2450
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Fight the Fights Worth Fighting

Unlike alcohol that has been widely accepted in our society (with the exception of Prohibition), marijuana has been restricted in one manner or another since the early 1900’s. However, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was the first federal law on the books that effectively restricted the sale and possession of the substance to those that paid a hefty excise tax. The name and the fear of the substance is thought to come from Mexican origins. Immigrants coming to the US after the Mexican Revolution brought with them the recreational use of the substance and the beginning of the US’s battle to restrict it. After 100 year roller coaster ride of creating and enforcing legislation to prevent Americans from using marijuana, 14 states including California have now legalized the drug for medical use.

While you might imagine that the biggest problem with both the state and federal governments having opposing laws is supremacy; the problem actually appears to be within the states themselves. US Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden issued a memorandum essentially stating that as long as individuals are in compliance with state laws, there is no need for the federal government to waste their precious resources battling. So now it is up to state prosecutors to determine the interpretation of “medical use” and all the other aspects of the distribution of the substance.

In the case of Jovan Jackson from San Diego, CA, whose pre-trial motions are being heard this morning, the battle is over whether the law permits the sale of marijuana. The two California laws in question: Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and Medical Marijuana Program Act of 2003 have been interpreted to allow individuals to grow and possess the drug, as well as the formation of non-profit collectives to distribute the drug to patients. These groups collect fees to cover the cost of growing and distributing the drug. And therein lies the confusion. Collecting money in exchange for goods is the very definition of a sale and the legislation does not explicitly allow the sale of marijuana.

In different counties and cities across the state, the local government agencies are taking a different approach to the law. Some are creating community gardens and Oakland even implemented a tax that is estimated to bring in almost a million dollars a year. However, San Diego County is one that has, from the beginning, fought the enforcement of this law. The San Diego’s DA’s argument for Mr. Jackson’s prosecution is that the laws were not implemented to protect those who “sell” the drug for money. And the Defense of Mr. Jackson is that collecting membership fees to assist in the cost of providing his services is what non-profit work is all about.

So the question becomes: is this a fight worth fighting?

More information on CA marijuana laws:

Opposing Views

Union Tribune

LA Times

California Proposition 215

Cannabis in CA

Ask Us a Question

  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. NOTE: The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form. By clicking “Send” below I acknowledge, understand and agree to the following: I may receive a response to my inquiry from an attorney; I am not forming an attorney-client relationship with Scales of Justice, LLP (SoJ) and understand this law firm does not represent my legal interests; Scales of Justice, has no duty to keep confidential the information I am now sending to the law firm; and I may only retain this firm or any of its attorneys as my attorney by entering into a written fee agreement and I am not hereby entering into a fee agreement.
 

cforms contact form by delicious:days

Connect With Us

Scales of Justice, LLP on Twitter Scales of Justice, LLP on Facebook
AILA Member 2011
 Scales of Justice LLP BBB Business Review

Immigration Law (in California)
All the services relating to immigration and naturalization provided by the firm or corporation shall be provided by an active member of the State Bar or by a person under the supervision of an active member of the State Bar. Pablo Zamora is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia. Pablo Zamora is not an attorney licensed to practice law in California but is an attorney licensed in another state or territory of the United States and is authorized by federal law to represent persons before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

*In compliance with CRPC 1-400, this website acts as an advertisement for Scales of Justice, LLP. Scales of Justice, LLP is the title of the law offices of Rebecca Ritchey, Esq. and Pablo Zamora, Esq. This website is a public resource of general information concerning Scales of Justice, LLP. It is intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be correct, complete and up-to-date. Links on this website are not intended to be referrals to or endorsements of the linked entities. The attorneys at Scales of Justice, LLP are licensed to practice law in California and Washington D.C. Scales of Justice, LLP does not intend to represent anyone desiring representation in a state where this website fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.*

Safeguard Privacy Policy
Scales of Justice, LLP strives to protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of customers regarding the use of their information. As an accredited business we agree to:

Respect Privacy. Any and all information supplied to us through this website is confidential. This information is not shared with any other individual, organization or entity. It is strictly used for responding back to questions submitted to us by individuals who contact us through the Scales of Justice, LLP Contact Us page.

Secure Sensitive Data. We do not collect sensitive data through this Contact Us page portion of our website (such as credit card, bank account numbers, social security numbers, medical history or records, etc.). Should any of that information be sent to us through the Scales of Justice, LLP website, we will ensure that it is transmitted via secure means and make efforts to comply with industry standards for the protection and proper disposal of all sensitive data, both online and offline.