BloomLegalTV: Discussing Marijuana
Posted on Jan 7, 2014 in Bloom Legal TV
Good afternoon. This is Seth Bloom here, with Bloom Legal. Just wanted to thank you for joining us for another one of our video blogs. And I’ll cut right to the chase. Today what I want to talk a little bit about is marijuana. And I really want to discuss the difference between possession of marijuana and distribution of marijuana, or a PWID. That’s where someone had the intent to distribute marijuana. Marijuana, in the state of Louisiana, on a first time possession, is still a misdemeanor. A second time possession is a felony. So that means it’s an enhancable offense. Now yes, it is true that in Orleans Parish there are times where you can get a first time marijuana conviction that is not enhancable. It has not been tested yet in the Louisiana Supreme Court, so I wouldn’t advise getting any convictions for marijuana. Want to talk about marijuana?
That could be one little gram, one joint, or it could be an awful lot of it. But we’ll get to, an awful lot of it, in a minute and figure out, because that’s really what we’re talking about today, is really whether or not it’s possession, or whether or not it’s distribution. Marijuana is the most common controlled substance that people are arrested for. We get a ton of calls, as criminal defense lawyers, representing people on marijuana charges all over the state. It’s a shame, I guess. As a criminal defense lawyer, I believe in the modification of these laws we’re seeing across the country right now. Certain states have legalized medical marijuana, and we even have two states that have legalized recreational marijuana. However, we still got to follow the rule of the law here in Louisiana and the rule of the law is, like I just said, it’s illegal. There is no medical marijuana here in Louisiana, and that’s about it.
So what elevates it from possession to distribution? And that’s a complicated question. It really is the facts of each individual case. So, for instance, if someone is stopped with an ounce of marijuana in their car, because it’s so much, one ounce, they may be immediately charged with a PWID or a distribution charge of marijuana. But are they really distributing marijuana? Maybe someone smokes chronically because they have back pain, even though it’s illegal, and it’s just possession. So you really have to look at each individual case. So it’s really not the total weight, but it’s how does it look? What’s going on?
So if you’re pulled over with an ounce of marijuana that you just picked up from a dealer, I guess, and you have it in your car and it’s in one package, you could probably talk to a district attorney about reducing these charges, if you were, in fact, arrested for possession with intent to distribute. If you talk to them about, maybe reducing it to a possession, because you could say, hey I don’t like to go out and buy the marijuana all the time. I want to buy it in bulk. Having said that, let’s talk about smaller weights. Let’s say if someone is stopped, whether it’s in a car, a bicycle, and they have only a couple of grams of marijuana, but each gram of marijuana is individually wrapped in a little baggie, and there’s all these baggies. So you have 10 grams of marijuana, which is a third of an ounce, and yet, you have it in 10 individual packages, and each package has a little stamp on there or something like that. Well, that’s a red flag for police, and that looks like you’re selling, whether it’s nickel bags or dime bags. And in that case, you’re going to be arrested for distribution.
So it’s really a combination of both weight and the actual evidence that’s seized. And at some point, obviously, if you get stopped, and we’ve represented many people in marijuana cases that have been stopped with, not only ounces, but pounds and pounds of marijuana, once you reach a certain weight limit, they will charge you with distribution. It will be very hard to have this plead down if you have two pounds of marijuana in your trunk of your car. Each case is different. Each parish is different. Each jurisdiction outside of Louisiana is certainly very different. So if you’re confused and you’re stopped and you’re charged with a distribution charge of marijuana, or you’re stopped and charged with a possession of marijuana charge, give us a call today at Bloom Legal. We’ll be glad to talk with you about it, and go through the process, and hopefully we can get your case reduced or dismissed, and give you robust criminal defense.
My name is Seth Bloom at Bloom Legal. Give us a call today, 504-599-9997 and I’ll be glad to take a look at your marijuana case, or any other case you may have, with a consultation. Thank you so much.