How Can I Avoid Being Arrested for Legal Medical Marijuana Use?

by Salvatore P. Ciulla on November 20, 2014 · 0 comments

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Medical marijuana use is legal in California, but medical marijuana is still classified by the FDA as a schedule 1 substance—a drug that is easily abused, dangerous and has no known medical use. Until that changes, it will be tempting for police to use legal, medical marijuana use as a reason to search and detain individuals when they have no real evidence a crime is being committed.


So how can you prevent being arrested, searched or detained for legal marijuana use?


  1. Know the laws. Medical marijuana laws are very specific as to where marijuana can be sold, how much an individual can possess, and where it should be used. Know the law and stick to it.
  2. Carry a state medical marijuana ID card. Unlike ID cards issued by doctors or dispensaries, the state ID card specifically protects you from arrest by state or local officials if you obtained your card legally and are following medical marijuana laws.
  3. Don’t leave marijuana or associated items in plain view in your car or home. Since marijuana is still illegal under federal law, if an officer stops you or speaks with you at your home, drug paraphernalia within sight can lead to arrest or a search warrant.
  4. Don’t consent to search. You are protected from unreasonable search and seizure by the fourth amendment—but saying the wrong thing can cause you to give up that right. You don’t have to answer questions, even polite ones. CA Norml’s Freedom Card is a PDF printable that can remind you of your rights and what to say if questioned by an officer.
  5. Leave. If an officer has no reasonable suspicion and has not arrested you, plainly state that you do not wish to answer any questions and that you would like to leave if you are not under arrest.


The Law Office of Salvatore Ciulla located in Orange County, California, represents individuals accused of murder and manslaughter, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and embezzlement, child abuse and domestic violence, narcotics possession and sales, drunk driving (DUI) and vehicular homicide, sexual assault and three strikes cases. We also take Juvenile Court cases and all misdemeanor offenses.


Our mission is to provide the best legal representation and counsel to all clients. Every client and every case is important. Call us at 714-542-0500 for a free analysis of your case and/or charges, or contact us at SalCiullaLaw.com.

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