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State of California v. Martin and LaVonne Victor (Temecula, CA)

posted Feb 22, 2013, 2:33 PM by The Editor   [ updated Feb 25, 2013, 1:02 AM ]
July 18th, 2002. In a unanimous ruling, the California Supreme Court granted medical marijuana patients powerful legal protection against state prosecution for possession and cultivation of marijuana. The court ruled that Prop. 215 is more than just a criminal defense but also provides qualified immunity from prosecution, and that defendants must be found guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt," not merely by "preponderance of evidence," a weaker standard that had previously been used by the courts.

A critical issue left unresolved by Mower is how much marijuana patients may cultivate or possess. In one of the first post-Mower trials in the state, patients Martin and LaVonne Victor of Temecula were denied a pre-trial dismissal by Judge James Warren on account of the fact that the amount of marijuana they had harvested (between 8 and 21 pounds) created a reasonable doubt as to whether they intended to sell it. The Victors say they had never grown marijuana before, and were told by police they could grow 15 plants. Having done so, they say the plants yielded more than expected. A defense fund has been established to cover the costs of their jury trial: Victors’ Legal Defense Fund, c/o MAPP, PO Box 739, Palm Springs CA 92263.

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