Federal officials begin major crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries

On October 7, 2011, the Obama Administration announced its intent to target medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the United States.  As a result, federal prosecutors have now threatened to shut down and criminally prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the State of California if those dispensaries fail to cease selling marijuana within 45 days.

California state laws currently allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate if those dispensaries strictly comply with state medical marijuana laws.   Federal law, on the other hand, provides stiff punishment for the possession or sale of marijuana, regardless of whether the marijuana being sold or possessed comes from a dispensary in compliance with state medical marijuana laws.  Therefore, medical marijuana dispensaries are still breaking federal drug laws even when they are fully compliant with state medical marijuana laws.

The Obama administration previously directed its federal prosecutors not to prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries if those dispensaries were compliant with state medical marijuana laws. The Obama administration has now completely reversed course and will begin prosecuting all dispensaries, regardless of whether those dispensaries are in compliance with state medical marijuana laws or not.

This means that all medical marijuana dispensaries in California will face prosecution under federal drug laws if they continue to operate after the 45 day deadline.  Given the severity of federal drug laws, it is imperative that people operating medical marijuana dispensaries understand the potential consequences of this new policy.

If you or someone you know is facing drug charges and would like to speak to an attorney about the case, please do not hesitate to call The X-Law Group, P.C. The attorneys at The X-Law Group, P.C. handle criminal defense matters in all of Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. We offer free consultations and affordable payment plans. Give us a call at 213-223-2232 and visit our website at http://www.thexlawgroup.com/. We look forward to helping you.

Governor Jerry Brown signs ban on open-carry of handguns

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a law banning the open-carry of handguns in the State of California.  This new law will take effect on January 1, 2012.  Currently, it is lawful for citizens to open-carry their handguns so long as the handgun chamber is empty, no magazine is inserted, and the handgun is holstered and visible to the public. Once the new law goes into effect on January 1st, it will be unlawful to open-carry a handgun and any person violating the law could be charged with a misdemeanor. A conviction for violating the ban on open-carry could result in six months incarceration and/or up to a $1,000 fine. The law will not apply to law enforcement, people authorized to carry loaded weapons, and people selling unloaded weapons at gun shows.

In addition to the signing of this bill, Governor Brown also signed a bill requiring the state to keep records on the sale of long guns, including rifles and shotguns. Currently, the law requires the state Department of Justice to keep records of handgun sales only. When the new law goes into effect on January 2014, rifle sales will be recorded in the same manner that gun sales are currently recorded by the Department of Justice.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges and would like to speak to an attorney about the case, please do not hesitate to call The X-Law Group, P.C. The attorneys at The X-Law Group, P.C. handle criminal defense matters in all of Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. We offer free consultations and affordable payment plans. Give us a call at 213-223-2232 and visit our website at http://www.thexlawgroup.com/. We look forward to helping you.