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March 2015 Archives

California taking a close look at marijuana legalization

California was the first state to allow the use of medical marijuana. That was done by a ballot initiative and legislation in 1996. Since then, at least two states have legalized marijuana possession and distribution, and others have decriminalized its use in varying degrees. Even more states have approved the use of medical marijuana. The trend toward legalization seems to be moving forward, and state officials here have announced that they will hold forums at different locations throughout the state beginning in April.

Man arrested on marijuana charges operating alleged honey oil lab

Honey oil refers to a concentrated form of marijuana that is similar to the marijuana oil extract called hash oil. Technically, the possession of honey oil or hash oil is legal in California if one has a medical marijuana card. The problem arises when one tries to make the substance because the process, when using butane in the extraction process, is generally dangerous.

Appellate court rules that drug crimes indictment be dismissed

When the government ignores a suspect's claims that he or she acted under duress in a drug smuggling incident when entering the country from Mexico, the case may be dismissed if the defendant is prevented from presenting his or her claim. When the government destroys video evidence that would support the suspect's claim of duress, the drug crimes case may also be dismissed. According to a decision recently handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a case based on an arrest made at one of California's border checkpoints has been dismissed.

Home searches lead to drug crime charges against 2 men

In California, as well as elsewhere, a search warrant should be obtained by the police prior to the search of a private residence. When that is done and the search finds contraband resulting in an arrest, criminal defense counsel should review the warrant and the circumstances surrounding its approval. This is necessary to make sure that the warrant was issued for the proper reasons and that it was justified based on the facts the authorities knew at the time. If the warrant was no good, then the charges for the drug crime will likely not survive.

Man accused of laundering money for drug trafficking cartels

Because high-volume sales of illegal drugs can lead to the possession of large amounts of cash by drug dealers, strategies are needed to convert that illegal cash into funds that appear to be legitimately earned. Under federal money laundering laws, a violation could lead to a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years. In California and other areas, a popular way of changing money from illegal drug trafficking into apparently legal money is by funneling it through a business that does a large volume of cash sales.


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