Sagura Doven, thirty-three, was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol. Officers found sixty pounds of marijuana packed in baggies in a large duffel bag. Had Doven been convicted of the charges, he would have faced up to four years of jail time. Glen Jonas, his lawyer, however, argued that Doven’s possession of marijuana was well within the confines of the law governing medical marijuana in the state. Doven was on his way to a medical marijuana collective based in Venice, of which he was a member, when he was pulled over. He was, therefore, authorized to transport the marijuana in question. According to the report on NBC Los Angeles, guidelines that govern medical marijuana from the State Attorney General point out that collectives are allowed to grow and transport marijuana for its members. Aside from this argument, Jonas also said that the witness of the prosecution, CHP Sgt. Richard Fuentes, did not have expert knowledge that would help him tell the difference between lawful and unlawful possession and transportation of marijuana. According to Fuentes’ testimony, only caregivers were allowed to transport that much marijuana; the law, however, reportedly allows members of a collective to do so on behalf of the group. Superior Court Judge William Sterling agreed with the fact that Fuentes was not qualified to give expert opinion. He then ordered that the charges of possession be dismissed, and that the marijuana be returned to Doven. Needless to say, Doven did seem quite relieved; as anyone in his place would be that he escaped jail time, telling the Los Angeles Times that “although justice was delayed, I am thankful it wasn’t denied.”
Legalization Laws Flawed
Legalizing marijuana may be a positive step toward concentrating law enforcement and detention efforts where they are needed most, but even proponents of legalizing marijuana should be concerned about the latest effort. The initiative would legalize pot for adults but could land them in prison for getting in an accident, even days later when they are not impaired. The initiative rightly prohibits driving under the influence of marijuana but fails to address Nevada's prohibited substance law, which makes it illegal to have traces of pot in your blood. In essence, it would amount to a penalty for engaging in a legal activity.