An important state appellate court decision was just announced that may have just set a major precedent in how California cannabis law will view concentrated forms of THC.
Until now, hash makers and lovers alike felt as though they were operating in a very, very grey area of California’s 18-year old medical marijuana laws. But on Wednesday of last week, one man’s day in court gave Cali’s cannabis enthusiasts a rare occasion to cheer.
Back in 2013, a 22-year old named Sean Mulcrevy was serving probation and was subsequently searched by a Cameron Park sheriff’s deputy. Even though he presented a valid doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana which he used to help treat acid reflux and migraine headaches, and even though the quantity of cannabis found on him during the search was laughably low, the dude had dabs, and the dabs did him in.
For the record, Mulcrevy was popped with a mere 3.3 grams of weed, and then…please try not to laugh, .16 grams of “honey oil” and .5 grams of “dabs”. Apparently there is a difference, but really it made no difference as he was charged with the misdemeanor offense of “unlawful possession of concentrated cannabis”.
Since he was already on probation, the bullshit misdemeanor landed Mulcrevy in front of cranky ass El Dorado Superior Court Judge James R. Wagoner. Judge Wagoner ignored Mulcrevy’s medical marijuana recommendation from his doctor and blew off the fact that everything found on him during the search was purchased legally through a local medical marijuana dispensary.
Instead he found Mulcrevy to be in violation of his probation and slapped an additional two years onto the end of it. In his decision, Judge Wagoner acknowledged California’s Compassionate Use Act, but incorrectly insisted that it had never referenced concentrated forms of the plant.
So Mulcrevy appealed, and justifiably so.
He took his case to the state appellate court in Sacramento, and it was there last week that a unanimous 3-judge panel agreed that Judge Wagoner ruled incorrectly in Mulcrevy’s case. Their decision will very likely be the basis for the defense and normalization of cannabis concentrates in California, and possibly beyond in the years to come.
The judges admitted that “marijuana” and “concentrated cannabis” are not literally defined in the 1996 Compassionate Use Act, but that those definitions are implied throughout the law.
For example, weed is referred to as “all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L.,whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin”.
The panel determined that by not allowing Mulcrevy to use the Compassionate Use Act to defend himself against the paltry possession charges, Judge Wagoner had denied him a fair trial. As such, the new ruling reversed Wagoner’s faulty decision and so now, after two years of fighting the system, an innocent man can avoid losing two more.
But by fighting the battle he did, Mulcrevy convinced the state of California that concentrated forms of cannabis are now by law a form of medical marijuana.