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Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley’s efforts to crack down on medical marijuana have landed one dispensary owner in the hot seat. The owner of Organica, a medical marijuana dispensary in Marina Del Rey, is facing criminal charges for the illegal sale of marijuana and money laundering.
Jeffrey Joseph is accused of passing out flyers advertising the dispensary near a high school. Since then, some of the students at the school have purchased marijuana from the dispensary. No details have been released about the money laundering charges.
In January, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed a new ordinance that prohibits dispensaries from opening within a certain distance of schools or any other location that children frequent. It’s not clear whether Organica is located near a school or if Joseph just went to the school to pass out the flyers.
Although medical marijuana is illegal on the federal level, the state of California still allows marijuana to be cultivated, sold, and used for medicinal purposes. However, Cooley has been cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries, and the ordinance Mayor Villaraigosa signed limits the number of dispensaries that are allowed to operate within Los Angeles County limits.
Joseph faces 24 criminal counts. His bail was set at $350,000.
Following an arrest for cultivating, selling, or possessing medical marijuana, it’s important to contact an attorney as quickly as possible to ensure your legal rights are defended. California permits the use of medical marijuana, and an attorney can uphold your rights to sell, use, or possess medical marijuana under those laws. Due to conflict with federal laws and city ordinances, like the one passed by Mayor Villaraigosa, many Los Angeles County residents are finding themselves in trouble with the law for something legal under state law. If you have found yourself in this situation, contact a South Bay drug crimes attorney at Okabe & Haushalter today to learn what can be done to defend you against your drug crime charges!