Currently, more than eight states have laws on the books that allow for adults to possess marijuana. At least 30 states have medical marijuana laws on the books as well. As people embark on trips this summer that take them beyond California's borders, it leaves many wondering whether they run any risk of arrest in flying somewhere much less receptive to drug use than this state.
Fullerton Police Department recently became one of only three different California law enforcement agencies to be trained in offering a drug recognition program. The California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles Police Department are the only only two police forces that received this training aside from them.The funding for this highly specialized training was made possible with the help of California's Office of Traffic Safety.
It is rare to see criminal defense professionals and state prosecutors landing on the same side of an issue, but these are surprising times, to say the least. Recently, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra took on the Trump administration's urging for states to pursue harsher drug crime sentences. In a statement to the Sacramento Press Club, Becerra called the notion of pushing for the harshest achievable drug sentences "crazy," claiming that the policy would adversely affect people of color and underprivileged communities.
With the passing of both Propositions 47 and 64, California became one of a few liberal states as it relates to the prosecution of drug crimes. It's important that residents not let recent legislation blind them though.
Drug possession is one of the most frustrating and dangerous varieties of non-violent charges a person may face. Even in California, which has famously relaxed laws regarding certain drugs, drug possession can still land you in serious trouble if they lead to a conviction. With a drug conviction on your record, you may have a much more difficult time finding work or securing a place to rent. It is vitally important to fight any drug possession charge with every tool at your disposal — you are quite literally tithing for your own future.
Drug possession charges can carry some of the heaviest penalties of any non-violent conviction, and the news is constantly reminding us that America has an exceptionally high rate of incarceration for drug offenses. Even though the public attitude toward some drugs seems to be shifting, the law is slow to follow, and the new presidential administration has expressed that the previous administration's lax approach to enforcing federal marijuana law is not likely to continue. Considering these factors, you should not make the mistake of thinking that a drug possession charge should be taken lightly.
If you are facing drug charges, then you may be tempted to panic. While it is true that drug charges can be very serious and carry heavy penalties for non-violent crimes, there are many ways that a skilled attorney can use the law in your favor to fight the charges. Instead of panicking and possibly making a poor decision, it is wise to consult with a legal professional to understand the nuances of your situation and how you should go about fighting the charges. One useful defense to drug charges is identifying ways that the officer who charged you with the crime may have broken protocol or violated your rights in the process.
California is at the center of an interesting legal conflict that remains unresolved and poses some potential serious risks to entrepreneurs. While marijuana has been legalized for recreational use here, it remains a federal crime to possess or distribute it, especially to other states. Under the current administration, there may soon be some acts of force employed to attempt to exercise federal power over state sovereignty, and California entrepreneurs who want to get in on a good opportunity could find themselves caught in the middle of a state and federal power struggle.
In order to be convicted in a trial, the prosecution must be able to clearly demonstrate that the defendant committed the crime for which he or she is charged. To get a conviction, the prosecution must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. And one of the most serious crimes in which the reasonable doubt standard is important is that of possession with intent to distribute illegal substances.
Law enforcement across the country is cracking down hard on many areas of crime, leaning hard on many individuals who are charged with a variety of crimes. A recent action by the Department of Justice (DOJ) left 55 individuals from California facing a litany of charges, including drug and gun-related crimes, as well as thefts and assaults. The move focused on suspected gang members and aimed to take out many players in a group the DOJ suspects of trafficking large quantities of hard and soft drugs.