Federal and state agents continue to make dramatic marijuana arrests in California despite the fact that medical marijuana is legal and even though a ballot measure asking the public to legalize pot is imminent. Although most California lawmakers and office holders favor some form of legalization, this fact also has not visibly dampened the fervor of law enforcement authorities. They apparently are continuing to invest substantial resources in the war against marijuana.
A recreational marijuana referendum in California is in the works for presentation to the voters in Nov. 2016. Currently, a blue-ribbon panel chaired by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has published its 93-page report that sets forth various general considerations and issues identified for further resolution. The report is presented as a group of options on marijuana legalization rather than a detailed floor plan.
A controversy regarding public health, individual rights and law enforcement parameters is brewing in some communities in California. Recently, some Bay Area residents have been engaged in a running dispute over the right of police to confiscate their medical marijuana, arrest them for drug violations and seize their assets, including their homes. The police in Liverpool are accused of having lost a common sense perspective by going so far as to put one or more cancer patients in peril, and by applying draconian measures and pressures to the daily struggle for survival of numerous medically challenged individuals.
A lot of things can be smuggled into the country and made to escape the scrutiny of airport officials, if those doing the smuggling are baggage personnel working for one or more of the airlines. California recently faced that problem when federal authorities charged each of 14 people with a single felony count of participating in a conspiracy to distribute 100 or more kilograms of marijuana. The felony charge exposes each defendant to between five and 40 years in a federal prison.
As California society generally comes to agree on the preference of rehabilitation over incarceration for first-time minor drug offenders, there will inevitably be a need for changes in the law to accommodate the new paradigm. Under current law, those first-time offenders charged with simple possession of a small amount of drugs may participate in a diversionary program. Thus, qualified drug offenders will enter a "deferred entry of judgment," which is, in essence, a guilty plea with the criminal sentence being deferred.
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.
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.
One couple in California was recently arrested after police said they had been growing 100 pot plants in their backyard. When charges are filed against people thought to have been in possession of marijuana or other drugs, the accused individuals reserve the right to fight back legally. The criminal defense's responsibility is to make sure that the defendants' legal rights and personal best interests are protected during the whole criminal proceeding.
The fact that marijuana plants are found growing on someone's land does not necessarily mean that the landowner is guilty of a drug offense in California, or anywhere else. State marijuana investigators recently raided several parcels of land in El Dorado County on suspicion that a male suspect was growing pot on the parcels. Authorities allege that, although the land was titled in the name of the suspect's wife, they were controlled by the suspect.
San Diego Chargers fans are getting excited for the upcoming season of the NFL. However, on the other coast of the U.S., the fans of the Jaguars are not as thrilled. One of their prized draft picks from the 2012 NFL Draft, Justin Blackmon, was arrested for marijuana possession recently. It was yet another arrest in a long line of them for Blackmon, and it has put his NFL career on hold indefinitely.