Cannabis Drug Bust in California – 2nd Largest in History

According to a CNN news report, a marijuana bust at a California border nets 15 tons. Federal police in California make the 2nd largest weed bust in history at a U.S. border crossing.

A truck carrying marijuana crossed into California from Mexico at Otay Mesa. The shipment was labeled “mattresses and cushions”. A Customs and Border Police officer had the cargo x-rayed and suspicions were raised.   An officer opened the cargo doors to see marijuana wrapped into plastic packages, stacked from floor to ceiling. The packages weighed 31,598 pounds and had an estimated street value of $18.96 million. The largest border crossing marijuana bust in U.S. history also arrived into southern California from Mexico in 2013 weighing in at 35,265 pounds.

Sale, Transport and Import of Marijuana

The California Health and Safety Code prohibits the sale of, furnishing of, giving away, importation or transportation of any amount of marijuana into the State. If found guilty of violating the Code, a defendant faces 2-4 years imprisonment in the state prison.

Violations under the Code are crimes, which are distinguishable from simple possession marijuana laws for personal use. However, there is a medical marijuana exception allowing for the transportation of marijuana for California medical marijuana users. Primary caregivers for patients may also transport marijuana to give to their patients in a reasonably related amount to the needs of the patient.

A violation of the Health and Safety Code can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the amount of marijuana, the type and whether sale or importation was involved. If the transport of marijuana is 28.5 grams or less it is a misdemeanor punishable by a $100 fine.

More than 28.5 grams is a felony and is punishable by 2-4 years imprisonment. If convicted of a felony, some defendants are eligible for felony probation. Under felony probation a maximum of 1-year imprisonment is served and a defendant is subject to performance of community service, drug screenings, and meetings with a probation officer.

Possession with Intent to Sell

Under the California Health and Safety Code 11359 it is illegal to possess any amount of marijuana with the intent to sell. This is distinguishable from the section of the Code discussed above. An offense under this section is a felony and is punishable by 16 months, or 2-3 years in the county jail. Again, sentencing may include probation in lieu of some jail time if a defendant qualifies.

Defenses

There are several defenses that exist to a marijuana charge, depending on the facts of each case. For example, the marijuana could be found during and improper search and seizure. Other defenses can exist such

It is important to explore the various defenses with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Ozols Law Firm understands the law and what each defendant faces. If you are facing a marijuana charge in San Diego, contact our attorneys today to discuss the facts of your case, your possible defenses, and what our office can do for you.

Ozols Law Firm
8880 Rio San Diego Dr. #22
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 288-8357