Federal authorities raided three medical marijuana dispensaries this week, and federal officials also filed lawsuits against property owners where the dispensaries were housed, alleging the owners of the property knew they were allowing marijuana stores to conduct business.
No arrests were made, but those running the marijuana dispensaries were detained for a time as authorities conducted their search.
Though medical marijuana is against federal law, the medicinal use of marijuana is legal in California, but DEA investigators state the dispensaries that were searched have been operating as marijuana stores for profit, a violation of California and federal law.
It’s interesting that after a couple years of taking a “hands off” approach the Obama administration has decided to crack down on California’s medical marijuana stores, says Costa Mesa criminal attorney Michael L. Guisti.
Guisti explains that the federal government regulates drugs like marijuana through the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) under 21 U.S.C. § 811, which does not recognize the difference between medical and recreational use of marijuana.
It’s very important to understand that if you own a medical marijuana dispensary and are operating well within California’s medical marijuana laws and the local city’s and county’s law the feds can still come into your place of business anytime and raid the place and arrest you, stresses Guisti.
Just as important, it’s one thing if you face marijuana criminal charges in California, which can result in a PC 1000 or Proposition 36 sentence with no jail time, but a federal marijuana criminal charge can result in dozens of years in federal prison and a fine up to a million dollars, says Guisti.
If you’re a medical marijuana dispensary owner with the feds raiding legal operations it’s very important you retain a professional by calling the Orange County federal marijuana crime attorneys right away at the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti.
We have over a decade of experience successfully winning even the toughest federal crimes for our clients in the federal courts of Santa Ana, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego.