Articles Posted in Marijuana

Every cannabis defendant I meet gets a few self defense tips at our consultation. Until we legalize cannabis cops are going to arrest for it. Regardless of the life altering consequences, or if the defendant is a good person, or if you “help” the police by being honest the full weight of the criminal justice system will be brought to bear on otherwise law abiding Texans.

The punishment for simple possession in Texas is up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. While most are sentenced to probation that isn’t good enough for me. No one should be arrested or put through the probation gulag for possessing a plant. Until things change, cannabis consumers owe it to themselves to exercise caution to avoid LEO’s wrath.

Once you have a possession arrest on your record things only get worse. Now, every time LEO pulls you over and runs your license he will think you are riding dirty. Cannabis consumers of America, be ever vigilante. Don’t count on your cop being “cool” and letting you go. Instead, be proactive and protect yourself from our state’s stupid pot laws.

I’ve discovered there is an inverse relationship between blogging and legal work. I’m grateful to be busy in this economy, but it’s giving me blog fail. What I do have time for is another roundup!!

On Sotomayor-

First, I’ll admit I have not done an exhaustive study of her opinions. I’m only familiar with the cases that have been highlighted by the media/blogosphere. My scant review of her track record indicates she is less of a liberal than a knee jerk statist. She seems to consistently side with the government over the individual. Whether it’s cops (even really bad cops), eminent domain, affirmative actions programs, et al, the winner is the state.

I had another two court day; morning in Dallas, and afternoon in Kaufman. I had a few passes and an open plea in Dallas. I saw a few friends at the courthouse one of whom pointed out a MADD courthouse runner.

MADD sends spies to the courthouse to monitor the DWI cases. I’ve never actually seen one until today. He was an earnest looking young man armed with a notebook. I wonder who he reports to and what he is reporting? If I see him again I’ll ask.

On my open plea- I had a DWI case (don’t tell MADD), the state made a plea offer but we chose to plead open to the judge.

Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act

No issue better highlights the moral bankruptcy of law enforcement than the federal prosecution of state licensed and legal medical marijuana providers. Since SCOTUS long ago nuetered the 9th and 10th Amendment we now require a federal law that states the obvious; the feds should not prosecute conduct that is legal under state law.

To that end the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, sponsored by Barney Frank and Ron Paul et al, would prevent the feds from prosecuting state licensed and legal medical marijuana providers. I’ve already contacted my reps. Click here to voice your support for this compassionate common sense measure.

Polka Fest 09-

This weekend is the annual Ennis Polka Festival. I’ll be at the KJT (Katolická Jednota Texaská) Saturday night (around 8ish) to see the Czechaholics and Brave Combo.

Come to Ennis and experience this one of a kind polkapalooza. Most of the polka dances can be accomplished with a slight variation of the country two step (quick, quick, slow, or something like that). No problem for most people to pick up. However, I largely rely on my wife to count the steps out loud while we are dancing. If NHTSA ever adopts the two step as a field sobriety test I”ll quit driving because I would fail every time.

I have interacted with hundreds of cannabis consumers. First as a public defender, then a prosecutor, and finally as a private defense attorney. Much of the debate over cannabis prohibition is about the plant and the effects of smoking said plant. Let me share my experience with the more important aspect, the people we arrest and prosecute for marihuana possession.

Talking about such a large population of defendants without delving into broad stereotypes is impossible. There is probably a neo nazi terrorist serial killer somewhere who loved marijuana. I’ve never met such a person but probability guarantees at least a few such cases. Instead of individuals let us paint in broad strokes, starting with young adults.

I believe that children are the future, put them on probation and make them pee and pay

Did you know the police are allowed to lie to you? It’s true. The police can make up facts out of whole cloth and present them as fact.

What if the police wanted you to open the door to your house so they could peek inside? One would think that cops must obtain a warrant before entering a private residence. Instead, cops can lie about your car being robbed so you open the door for them.

This brings us to our case of the day. Stern vs. State No. 05-08-00553-CR

Good people from all walks of life use marijuana. Good people from all walks of life also get arrested for possession of marijuana. Until we correct the tragic failure of cannabis prohibition pot smokers must exercise self defense and common sense to avoid the wrath of law enforcement.

To that end here is a cartoon from NORML. It’s more common sense than legal advise. Let me add one thing to this cartoon; never tell the police there is pot in your car. If cops ask about drugs, ask for a lawyer. Pot smokers are way too honest and trusting (unlike those who arrest pot smokers).

For the first time in my legal career I completed a county courthouse trifecta. I made an appearance in 3 different county courthouses in one day. This made me wonder what the record is for most county courthouses visited in a day? It can’t be more than 4. All this travel has sapped my blogging energy. Instead of talking about the crazed Dallas ER cop or Sharon Keller, I’ll offer a travelogue.

Collin County

Friday morning, I had a plea in Collin County. I live in Ennis (home of Polka Fest) which is about 65 miles away. Fog and speed traps slowed traffic on I-45. Traffic actual improved once I hit 75. I lamented over the suburban sprawl big box strip mall sameness that is southern Collin County and arrived in McKinney at 9:15.

St. Patrick’s, Old 97’s, and Greenville

I spent my first St. Patty’s on Greenville. My wife and a few friends attended the Old 97’s concert at Energy Square (a parking lot on Greenville and University.)

Our group missed the parade, arriving at 3pm. We did catch the last of the parade goers leaving for their cars. I only saw one person throw up, and one person arrested. For all the complaints about the Greenville parade it seemed the vast majority was well behaved. There was an overwhelming police presence without much criminal presence. The level of law enforcement boredom approached TSA levels.

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