Pasadena Trial Lawyer Tom R. Medrano Gets Hashish Case Dismissed. Larger MORAL To This Story – Medical Marijuana Patients – Obtain Your Get-Out-Jail Card NOW! Do Not Hesitate
Eric Delgado was arrested for purchasing and possessing hashish (concentrated cannabis) in front of his residence along with the medical marijuana provider, who himself, was arrested and charged by the Los Angeles DA’s office with sales and transportation of marijuana, all felony charges. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Delgado informed the arresting LA Sheriff Deputy that he was a medical marijuana patient. Mr. Delgado’s wife even provided the arresting deputy with a copy of Mr. Delgado’s medical marijuana letter signed by his physician. The arresting deputy ignored the medical marijuana letter and never mentioned the physician letter in his police report. Mr. Delgado bailed out of jail and retained the Law Office of Tom R. Medrano.
At the time of his arraignment in Downey, Attorney Tom R. Medrano, provided the physician medical marijuana letter to the DA who essentially ignored the letter. Attorney Tom Medrano went ahead and arraigned Mr. Delgado and set the matter for a pre-preliminary hearing in Norwalk, hoping to prevail upon a more senior and presumably enlightened DA.
At the pre-preliminary hearing in Norwalk, the DA’s initial response was, “I hate these cases, these people should all go to jail.” Going over her head, Attorney Tom Medrano spoke with the DA deputy-in-charge of the Norwalk Office and provided copies of Mr. Delgado’s prior medical history, as well as, former and current medical marijuana letters signed by his physician. Allowing time for the DA to verify the authenticity of the medical marijuana letters, Mr. Delgado’s criminal case was continued on several occasions. At the next court date, Proposition 47 had just passed that day, making possession of all controlled substances, formerly a felony now a misdemeanor. At the post Prop 47 hearing, the DA offered to allow Mr. Delgado to plead guilty to a misdemeanor because, first, Mr. Delgado possessed hashish, not marijuana. Second, the one year medical marijuana letter had expired a couple of days before the purchase of the subject marijuana in the instant case and Mr. Delgado did not get a new medical marijuana letter until two days after he purchased the marijuana in our case. Attorney Tom Medrano replied to the DA that first hashish is indeed covered by the Marijuana Compassionate Use Act pursuant to an Attorney General’s Opinion, a copy of which was provided to the DA. Secondly, the California law clearly sets forth that a “qualified patient” under the law is a person who would otherwise qualify under the Marijuana Compassionate Use Act whether or not he/she had a medical marijuana letter issued and signed by a licensed physician. Attorney Tom Medrano again provided the DA with copies of the applicable law that supported this position. Since Mr. Delgado had a medical marijuana letter issued to him by a licensed physician before and after purchasing concentrated cannabis, he was clearly a “qualified patient.” Faced with clear and unambiguous California Law, the DArelented and dismissed all charges against BOTH the medical marijuana patient, Mr. Delgado, and his medical marijuana provider.
During the pendency of this case, Attorney Tom Medrano instructed Mr. Delgado to obtain an authorization card issued by the LA County Health Department for medical marijuana patients. The County Health Department independently verifies that the patient is an authorized medical marijuana patient and will thereafter issue a valid authorization card. California State Law Enforcement officers are compelled to accept the LA County Health Department Authorization Card. The card essentially acts as a “get-out-of-jail-card”. Lawful possession of the County Health Department authorization card would have prevented and avoided Mr. Delgado from being arrested, having to post bail and hiring a competent trial attorney to defend him in court.
MORAL of this case – if you are a medical marijuana patient, please go through the next hurdle of obtaining a County Health Department Authorization Card, called the “Medical Marijuana Identification Program” (MMIP) card. There is a waiting period of approximately 2 months to get the initial appointment and 30 days thereafter to obtain the card. You will be notified by mail once you have been approved. You will then have to personally pick up your card at the County Health Department. In Los Angeles County, the cost of the MMIP process and obtaining your card is $150 or $75.00 (for Medi-Cal patients). The time, trouble and expense, all pale in comparison to spending time in jail, paying for a bail bond if you are not released O.R. and the cost of hiring a competent attorney to represent you in court.
Federal Laws still criminalize marijuana. Many Law Enforcement Personnel and Prosecutors are not supportive of the Marijuana Laws passed by the California Electorate and will seek to arrest and prosecute you.
BEWARE – medical marijuana patients, protect yourself and be pro-active by participating in the Los Angeles County Health Department “Medical Marijuana Identification Program” (MMIP).
Eric Delgado picked up his MMIP card on Monday, November 17, 2014.