Category: Uncategorized

17 Jun 2017

California Assembly Pushes Forward Sanctuary Bill Against Federal Cannabis Laws

Last week, the California Assembly pushed through a new bill that will prevent state and local police in California from helping federal enforcement of marijuana laws.

According to Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, who authored the bill, the legislation will help protect California’s legal marijuana system from the federal government, and specifically the Trump administration, which has threatened to increase enforcement of federal marijuana laws.

Critics argue that the bill would put local law enforcement in harm’s way when they refuse to cooperate with federal officials. In response to concern that the bill could make it harder for law enforcement to detect illegal marijuana activity in the legal market, Jones-Sawyer stated he was open to revision that would allow local law enforcement to cooperate with federal agents when state laws have been violated.

Several other states with legal recreational marijuana, including Colorado and Washington, are also considering bills to protect people who are in compliance with state laws and operate within the legal marijuana market from interference from the federal government.

07 Jun 2017

Los Angeles County Extends Marijuana Ban in Unincorporated Areas

The Board of Supervisors for LA County voted unanimously this week to extend the ban on marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas.

Los Angeles County has prohibited any commercial marijuana activities in unincorporated areas since 2010. The original ban applied only to medical marijuana, but the ratification of Proposition 64 that legalized recreational marijuana prompted the county to extend its ban to any commercial activities, including recreational and medical marijuana cultivation, manufacture, testing, and distribution.

The new ordinance also makes a first attempt at regulating the personal cultivation of marijuana by limiting residents in unincorporated LA County to growing 6 plants. Homeowners who live in a single-family home can cultivate marijuana outdoors or indoors, but people living in apartments and condos are restricted to indoor plant cultivation.

Homeowners who choose outdoor cultivation must follow rules about fencing and setbacks. Plants may not be visible from any public right-of-way or above a fence

A new amendment has been approved that also bans marijuana cultivation within 600 feet of a daycare center or school.

The purpose of the ban is to give the county sufficient time to implement regulations for the industry. There is currently no timeline for when regulations will be decided.

California permits for marijuana businesses will be available in January 2018 although local governments will retain the right to ban these businesses or prohibit outdoor personal marijuana cultivation.

31 Mar 2017

Is Stoned Driving Safer Than Drunk Driving?

While no one is arguing that driving high on marijuana is a good idea, a federal study indicates that it may at least be safer than drinking and driving.

According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), when statistics are adjusted for factors like gender and age, there is little difference between driving stoned and driving sober when it comes to the risk of an accident. However, the NHTSA did point out that the study has limitations and there are obvious risks to driving under the influence of marijuana.

A separate study, the largest of its kind conducted in Virginia Beach, analyzed data over 20 months from 3,000 drivers involved in an accident and 6,000 accident-free drivers. This study found that marijuana users are more likely to be involved in accidents, but the increased risk may be due to the fact that marijuana users are more likely to belong to demographic groups at a higher risk of accidents, particularly young men.

Despite no significant statistical crash risk associated with marijuana use before driving, drinking that results in a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05 or higher increases the risk of an accident seven-fold. Still, there is no easy or reliable way to measure the amount of THC in someone’s system and correlate it to impairment with a blood alcohol concentration.

Alcohol tends to have a very predictable effect on the body whereas psychoactive drugs are chemically complex and the absoption, actions, and elimination can’t be predicted.

California is one of many states to have a “marijuana DUI” law on the books that equates stoned driving to drunk driving, but this can be a serious problem because, unlike alcohol, THC can remain in detectable levels for days or even weeks, long after the pyschoactive effect has worn off. Marijuana can certainly lead to impairment at certain levels, but there is no reliable way for law enforcement to determine if someone is currently impaired by marijuana based on measurable THC levels.

If you have been charged with a marijuana DUI in California, it’s important to seek experienced legal counsel right away to build your defense and seek a reduction or dismissal of the charges. Contact Soliman Law Group for a free consultation with an experienced marijuana defense attorney in Los Angeles to discuss your case.