Information on New Criminal Defense Laws in California




As the only incorporated city in Mono County, California,The Town of Mammoth Lakes had approved a local ordinance permitting and regulating the establishment of operation of medical cannabis dispensaries within the Mammoth Lakes city limits. Specifically, Mammoth Lakes has permitted the establishment of two medical marijuana cooperatives, provided that the two cooperatives are at least 500 apart from each other, when the city voters approved Measure M on June 8, 2010. As of August 2012, it was still possible to submit an application for a medical marijuana cooperative permit to the Town of Mammoth Lakes Police Department. The Mammoth Lakes ordinance permits only one type of medical marijuana dispensaries - cooperatives. It does not authorize the establishments of medical marijuana collectives. Cooperatives are more formal entities that must be established pursuant to and... Read More



People v. Colvin, 2012 WL 579867 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.) (Feb. 23, 2012) This California state court appellate decision is a major victory for criminal defense attorneys and the medical marijuana community in general, in Los Angeles and throughout California.  The decision held that medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives that comply with certain rules and guidelines may operate as legitimate storefront dispensaries. The court held that a defendant named William Colvin, who co-owned and operated cooperative medical marijuana dispensaries, was entitled to a defense under the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMPA), in a criminal prosecution where he was detained and arrested on criminal marijuana transportation charges while transporting in his vehicle one (1) pound of marijuana from one medical marijuana dispensary to a second.  Defendant transported the marijuana between... Read More

Landmark Marijuana Cases


Following the passage by the California voters of Proposition 215 which de-criminalized possession and cultivation of marijuana for medical use, California legislature has passed two critical sets of statutes known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (“CUA”) and the Medical Marijuana Program Act (“MMPA”) passed in 2003 and known as SB 420. While the achievement of these laws in establishing real protections for medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers is unquestionable, it has become apparent – to criminal defense attorneys and those who have faced criminal prosecution – that these statutes are deeply flawed. In short, the CUA and the MMPA contain a remarkable number of gaps and ambiguities, which continue to leave too many questions in need of an answer. These statutory shortcomings have left too many areas open to hostile interpretations by law enforcement... Read More

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