Alternative Writ of Mandate Ordering a Medical Marijuana Jury Instruction

People v. E.L.S. (2012) Yuba County

The California court system has been flooded with medical marijuana cases since the inception of the Compassionate Use Act in 1996. This primarily stems from judges’ ignorance of the case law surrounding medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is one of the few places where the law is constantly shifting due to new case law and therefore causes much confusion amongst the judiciary who often see marijuana in the same light as other drugs. Margolin and Lawrence is one of the few criminal defense firms who regularly write writs of mandate to the Court of Appeal challenging erroneous rulings by judges. Often times judges will brush off counsel’s protestation by simply stating, “Take me up on writ then!” Well unfortunately for them, our office takes these challenges with gusto.

Below you will a recent alternative writ of mandate ordering in a medical marijuana case. Here, the client was merely transferring medical marijuana from his collective to  representative of another collective. He had pre-verified the representative as a qualified patient and was in the process of having the representative fill out the collective paperwork. Unfortunately, police officers intervened and arrested the client on alleged sales of marijuana. Before trial, counsel made a motion to allow a medical marijuana jury instruction but was denied. Hearing of our writ prowess, client contacted Margolin & Lawrence to write a petition for a writ of mandate. After writing to the Court of Appeal, an alternative writ of mandate ordering the jury instruction was issued.


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