California v. Colvin

137 Cal. Rptr. 856, 203 Cal. App. 4th 1029 (2012)

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California v. Colvin

California Court of Appeal
137 Cal. Rptr. 856, 203 Cal. App. 4th 1029 (2012)

Facts

William Colvin (defendant) was a qualified medical-marijuana patient who operated a medical-marijuana collective through two medical-marijuana dispensaries in California. Colvin and approximately 13 other members of the collective grew the marijuana sold through the dispensaries to more than 1,500 members of the collective. The collective operated in compliance with various rules and regulations governing medical-marijuana collectives in California by incorporating and operating as a nonprofit entity, holding appropriate business licenses and permits, verifying that the collective’s members were lawful medical-marijuana users, tracking the expiration dates of members’ medical-marijuana prescriptions, and implementing appropriate security measures. Colvin was arrested for unlawfully transporting marijuana after being pulled over while transporting marijuana from one of the collective’s dispensaries to the other. At the conclusion of a bench trial, Colvin moved for an acquittal, arguing that California’s medical-marijuana law prohibited punishing qualified patients who collectively grew medical marijuana. The trial court found that Colvin was a qualified patient but denied Colvin’s motion for acquittal, ruling that Colvin’s transportation of marijuana was not related to the lawful cultivation of marijuana. Colvin appealed, and the government argued that even if Colvin’s transportation of marijuana were related to lawful cultivation of marijuana, the provision in California’s medical-marijuana law that Colvin cited only applied when all members of a collective worked together to grow medical marijuana and not when only a few members grew marijuana for sale to a larger group.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Aldrich, J.)

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