Two huge wins for our firm on cultivation cases today! Nine defendants in two separate cases had their cultivation charges dismissed by the Riverside District Attorney’s Office.
The first case concerned an 887 plant collective grow. The six defendants were all patients who were cultivating medicine intended for a locally licensed collective in San Diego, CA. Michael Cindrich filed a “Mower Motion” which allows the defendants to present a defense ahead of trial, and forces the prosecution to prove that the defendants are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The Riverside DA’s office made the right decision, and dismissed the case without going forward with a hearing.
The second case concerned a 411 plant collective grow. The legal documents for this collective were drafted and filed by Michael Cindrich, so our office was confident that the defense would hold up in trial. Fortunately for our clients, the DA’s office reviewed the documents at an early stage in the case, and dismissed all charges against the three defendants.
These cases highlight the perhaps the largest problem with the Compassionate Use Act and the Medical Marijuana Program Act, which only provide limited immunity from prosecution. Individuals who are in full compliance with state law can still be arrested and prosecuted for cannabis offenses, and the burden is on them to present a defense. Since state licenses are not currently being issued, and few jurisdictions have local licenses, law enforcement is limited in their ability to determine the legality of these operations. As a result, there is usually probable cause to make an arrest, which makes it extremely difficult to obtain compensation for destroyed plants. We are confident that the recently enacted Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) will provide clear guidelines that will assist law enforcement and protect cannabis business operators.
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