It is a common misconception that medical marijuana is legal in California. Marijuana, in every form, is illegal in California. The Compassionate Use Act and accompanying case law and regulations provide a defense from prosecution for certain marijuana offenses. But you can still be arrested, jailed, have your property seized and forfeited and forced to post bail and defend yourself.
To complicate matters, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Proposition 266 into law. This bill abolishes the safe haven enjoyed by many collectives, cooperatives and dispensaries across the State of California. Instead, people seeking the protection of the Compassionate Use Act must now conform to a strict licensing procedure. Anyone that fails to comply will be subject to arrest, imprisonment and fines for marijuana violations. Things just got tougher for medical marijuana patients, caregivers and growers.
We have handled hundreds of marijuana cases in every courthouse in southern California and most of them throughout the state. We also have extensive experience in federal court defending marijuana charges in and out of the State of California. In the process, we have had countless charges reduced or dismissed and had our clients life and property restored.
Our firm has been representing the medical marijuana industry for close to 20 years. For several years, Bill Kroger taught the “Marijuana and the Law” class at Oaksterdam University, the first cannabis college in the United States. He was the only attorney in Los Angeles invited to speak at Loyola University to the Los Angeles Superior Court Judges and District Attorneys to educate them on the recent state of “Marijuana and Pot Shops”.
Mr. Kroger established relations with the directors and many members of California Narcotics Officers Association “CNOA”. He has worked on several marijuana investigations with DEA Group 2 in Los Angeles resulting in no arrests or charges for his clients. Additionally, he has represented many clients arrested by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, LAPD and CHP and successfully ended the cases with no charges being filed.
Bill Kroger was the only lawyer involved with the City of Los Angeles working group responsible for the Pre-ICO regulating collectives. He is actively involved with litigation for collectives in the City of Los Angeles and represents collectives facing felony charges in several different courts in Los Angeles. Our firm has successfully represented some of the largest cultivators, largest collectives, and largest edible manufacturer in Los Angeles
Marijuana Law Enforcement/ Prosecution
There are specific law enforcement divisions dedicated exclusively to eradicating marijuana sales, transportation, cultivation and use from the streets of California. At the local, state and federal level, law enforcement is present on the streets, phones and internet. There are serious sentencing enhancements for repeat offenders, offenses involving large marijuana amounts and offenses involving marijuana and firearms together. Because of the relation of violent crime, gang activity and drug wars to cocaine specifically, law enforcement and prosecution teams dedicate an exceptional amount of time, money and resources to stopping these crimes. Additionally, the split in California state law and federal law has caused the federal government to divert resources, time and money to investigation and prosecution of marijuana cases. Federal cases are much more severe in terms of prison exposure and there is no partial or complete defense for medical marijuana in the federal court system. Additionally, there is an emphasis by law enforcement to seize money, property and vehicles thought to be obtained through the proceeds from marijuana sales. This process is separate from the criminal prosecution and often disregards the due process rights found in criminal court. These seized items are divvied up among law enforcement for department funding and seized contraband is often used in future sting operations against other suspected marijuana dealers.
In 2011, Mr. Kroger represented a defendant charged with attempting to hire a private plane to transport over 200 pounds of marijuana from Los Angeles to Hawaii. The client pled to a misdemeanor, performed community service and had his record expunged. He did not serve any jail time.
Medical marijuana and legalized pot laws are the great uncharted legal territories of the 21st century, where federal laws are conflicting with state laws. Clearly when it comes to marijuana, the Kroger Law Group and William S. Kroger don’t just know the law — they helped to write it.