California federal districts continued their crackdown on the commercial trade of medical marijuana in the Los Angeles area by arresting six people associated with medical marijuana dispensaries. According to a Reuters news report, the six people arrested are associated with G3 Holistic Inc., which operates three dispensaries in the Inland Empire. The arrests reflect the growing confusion between a state law that allows medical marijuana and federal law that prohibits the possession or sale of cannabis. Until recently, the arrest of medical marijuana operators in California has been rare. It is unclear what these recent arrests mean for other medical marijuana dispensary owners and operators in Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties.
In 1996, California became the first state to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Now, 17 states and the District of Columbia have approved the sale of medical marijuana. However, marijuana penalties continue to be quite severe. In fact, selling or delivering any quantity of marijuana is illegal in California and punishable by two to four years of incarceration. It is also a felony to possess any amount of marijuana with the intent to distribute in California. There is also a discrepancy in state and federal laws when it comes to medical marijuana. While using and growing marijuana for medical purposes is legal in California, it is illegal under federal law.
Anyone facing marijuana charges in California would be well advised to take their case seriously and to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who is extremely knowledgeable about state and federal laws relating to marijuana. The reputed drug crime defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan have a long history of handling marijuana cases locally. Please contact us at (866) 430-8383 if you or a loved one has been charged with a marijuana-related offense.