One Step Over the Line? Sweet Jesus!

One step over the line.

According to this blurb — you can’t really call it a “story,” or even an “article” — in the Fresno Bee, the Tulare County Sheriff has told a medical marijuana user that has he taken one step over the line. The line to which I refer is “the line at which you are in violation of California’s medical marijuana laws,” since legally those are the only ones a California Sheriff can enforce, unless he’s part of a cooperative effort wherein he’s providing support to a federal raid. The claim here is that with 93 plants, the medical marijuana user is “cultivating more of the drug than allowed under medical marijuana regulations.”

While that is possible, it is highly unlikely.

What’s more likely is that the Tulare County Sheriff does not know the law and Tulare County has become flush with cash such that they can endure a lawsuit or two.

Since even a lot of medical marijuana users are confused on this point, let’s look at why I just said that.

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Smoke Bomb

This morning’s newspaper brought the welcome news that the Fresno County Board of Supervisors was going to consider transforming their illegal local ordinance into a probably-legal local ordinance.

This would have been a move welcomed not only by local patients who grow their own medicine, but also by concerned citizens who think that in times when government budgets are limited, money should not be spent on unnecessary lawsuits. Read more


One thing local law enforcement is really good about is scaring people. (Arguably, it’s what they’re best at.) Usually, this is justified on the basis of the department’s need for money. It’s even possible sometimes that law enforcement believes the bullshit they feed the public.

For example, recently Fresno passed a set of local ordinances intended to override the state laws concerning the possession, growing, and use of medical marijuana. Ostensibly, the target is dispensaries, but the ordinance — about which I shall write more in another post — is fairly broad in its application. The end result is that marijuana — medical or otherwise — is essentially illegal to grow, or use, anywhere in Fresno County. Whether or not you will be arrested for using it in accordance with California state law is unknown at this time, but the ordinance itself makes it illegal.

And why? Because medical marijuana is associated with an increase in the commission of crimes in Fresno. Read more

How Cops Think

Scott Greenfield, the New York criminal defense attorney with the Simple Justice blog, provides today two interesting examples of how cops think.  Or don’t, as the case may be.

Fresno County Sheriff Mims provides her own example.

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