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State of California v. Richard and Kim Levin (1999-20??, Shasta County, CA)

posted Feb 22, 2013, 2:20 PM by The Editor   [ updated Mar 2, 2013, 8:34 PM ]
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.

Prop. 215 patients are still waiting to win a civil court suit against law enforcement. In Shasta County, patient Richard Levin and his wife Kim lost a civil suit against the sheriff’s department. Richard Levin, who is 100% disabled by a back injury, was acquitted in a Prop. 215 cultivation case in 1999. He went on to sue for false arrest and imprisonment as well as mistreatment of his medical condition while he was in jail. However, the jury exonerated the county. The Levins’ attorney, William Simpich, ventured that the verdict might have been different had the judge allowed him to submit a copy of the Compassionate Use Act as evidence.

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