BloomLegalTV: Marijuana – New Orleans Criminal Defense Lawyer
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. I will cut right to the chase. Today what I want to talk about, a little bit about, is marijuana. And I really want to discuss the difference between possession of marijuana and distribution of marijuana or a PWIT. 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 that it is a enhancable offense.
Now, yes it is true that in Orleans Parish there are times when there are times where you can get a first time marijuana conviction that is not enhanceable. That has not been tested yet in the Louisiana Supreme Court, so I wouldn’t advise getting any convictions for marijuana. When I 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 are 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. We even have two states that have legalized receration marijuana, however we still have to follow the rule of the law here is Louisiana and the rule of the law is, like I just said, its illegal. There is no medical marijuana here in Louisiana, and that’s about it.
So, what makes it, what elevates from possession to distribution? That’s kinda 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, they may be immediately because it’s so much, on one ounce, they may be immediately charged with a PWIT or a distribution charge of marijuana, but are they really distributing marijuana? Maybe someone smokes chronically because they have back pain, even though its 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 can probably talk to a district attorney about reducing these charges if you were in fact arrested for possession with intent to distribute. You can talk to them about maybe reducing it to a possession because you can say, “Hey I don’t like to go out and buy the marijuana all the time. I wanna 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 or on a bicycle and they have only a couple grams of marijuana. Each gram of marijuana is individually wrapped in a little baggie, and there’s all these baggies. Well, so you have 10 grams of marijuana which is a third of an ounce and, yet you have it in ten individual packages. Each packages have a little stamp on there or something like that. Well that’s a red flag for police. That looks like you’re selling whether its 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 represented many people in marijuana cases that have been stopped with not only ounces, but pounds and pounds of marijuana. You know, once you reach a certain weight limit, they will charge you with distribution. It will be very hard to have this pled 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 are confused and you’re stopped and charged with a distribution charge or marijuana, or you’re stopped and charged with a possession of marijuana charge. Give us a call today at Bloom Legal. We’d 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 at (504) 599-9997, and I’d be glad to look at your marijuana or any other case you may have with a free consultation. Thank you so much.