What Are the Restrictions on Home Growing Marijuana for Medicinal Use?

Amendment 2 is the new medical marijuana law that Missouri voters recently approved. While Amendment 2 covers many aspects of medicinal marijuana possession, usage, and regulation, it also contains specific restrictions on the ability of individuals who hold valid medical marijuana cards to grow their own marijuana on their property. Specifically, the law limits individuals to growing six flowering marijuana plants at a time.

Although the new law already has gone into effect, this doesn’t mean that you can start growing your own marijuana plants right away. The law is clear that you must obtain physician certification and pay for a medical marijuana identification card issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) in order to grow marijuana plants. Since DHSS has not yet begun issuing those cards, then individuals cannot begin growing marijuana, even for their own medicinal use. There also are no exceptions to this requirement for individuals who hold out-of-state medical marijuana cards.

Based on the current timeline set forth by DHSS, applications for medical marijuana cards will become available June 4, 2019, and DHSS will begin accepted completed applications by July 4, 2019. DHSS estimates that ID cards may take up to 30 days to receive. As a result, individuals should not expect to have medical marijuana cards prior to August 3, 2019.

Furthermore, there is language indicating that home growers must grow marijuana only in “appropriately secured facilities,” but DHSS has yet to define exactly what that phrase means. As a result, it is unclear whether cardholders will have to have some other sort of approval or license in order grow their marijuana plants at home. When you are charged with any type of DWI or traffic offense, including those that involve medicinal marijuana usage, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your interests from the very beginning of your case. We are here to look at the facts of your case, explore your options, and build the strongest defense possible on your behalf. Contact the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at Benjamin Law Firm, LLC, at (816) 322-8008 and set up an appointment to speak with us today. ffff

Can a Crime Victim Refuse to Testify Against the Accused?

Although not specified in the U.S. constitution, the fundamental right to privacy has arisen in various contexts and as an extension of various federal constitutional amendments, as well as from states’ victims’ rights acts and constitutions. However, the question remains whether this right to privacy protects a crime victim from having to testify against the accused in a criminal proceeding.

Missouri’s constitutional provisions dealing with crime victims’ rights and Mo. Rev. Stat. § 595.209, the statute outlining rights of victims and witnesses in criminal proceedings, both are silent on the right of a victim to refuse to testify against the accused. This issue may arise if the alleged perpetrator of the crime is a family member, and the victim is embarrassed, afraid, or does not wish to make the circumstances of the crime public knowledge. However, an argument can be made that a crime victim has the right to refuse to testify in a criminal proceeding based on a fundamental right of privacy arising from the Ninth Amendment, which could be construed as protective of an individual’s ability to make decisions without interference from the government.

In some cases, there may no other legal way for a crime victim to avoid testifying, which could result in contempt of court sanctions for disobeying a subpoena to appear and testify. For example, depending on the situation, a crime victim might be able to refuse to testify on the basis of the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. However, Missouri’s witness immunity law, Mo. Rev. Stat. § 491.205, eliminates the right against self-incrimination in state criminal proceedings. In state law prosecutions, then, this right is not available, which may leave no other alternative but asserting a right to privacy in the victim’s choice not to testify.

Similarly, Mo. Rev. Stat. § 491.015, which is Missouri’s rape shield law, does protect victims of sexually-based offenses from having to testify about their past sexual conduct. However, while this may protect a portion of the victim’s potential testimony, it still does not protect the victim from being forced to testify altogether. While there may be no explicit right protecting victims who refuse to testify against defendants in criminal proceedings under Missouri or federal law, the Ninth Amendment could support the assertion of a right to privacy made by a victim in this situation. At Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center, we pride ourselves on helping our clients through their legal difficulties related to traffic violations, DWI, general criminal offenses, and expungement of criminal records. Call our office today at (816) 322-8008 and learn what we can do to help. Locked=”fals

Can I Still Own a Gun if I Have a Medical Marijuana Card?

Despite the decriminalization of medical and recreational marijuana in many states across the nation, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. In fact, it is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, along with other controlled substances that have the highest potential for misuse and little to no acceptable medicinal use. Even in states that have not taken steps to legalize marijuana, legislators have reduced the potential penalties for criminal offenses related to small amounts of marijuana, even eliminating jail time as a possibility in some states.

Current federal law makes it illegal for anyone who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance from possessing firearms or ammunition. Since marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, as explained above, then it is illegal for those with medical marijuana cards for possess a firearm for any reason. This is the case even though a medical marijuana card holder would be using marijuana legally under state law. Additionally, the mere fact that an individual own a medical marijuana card would be reasonable cause to suspect that the individual is an unlawful users of a controlled substance.

By extension, then, an individual who privately sells a firearm to another whom he or she knows is a medical marijuana card holder would commit a felony under federal law. Not only must the medical marijuana users themselves be cautious about this aspect of federal law, but those who are selling or transferring firearms, whether privately or commercially, must also be aware of the legal pitfalls inherent in this situation.

One loophole that might still allow a medical marijuana user to have a firearm and ammunition in his or her household would be for the card holder’s spouse to be the owner of the gun. Under those circumstances, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) could allow the gun to remain in the household, although theoretically, the medical marijuana user should be able to freely access the gun. Given these circumstances, consulting with an experience criminal defense lawyer can be key to your ability to avoid running afoul of federal law. The attorneys at Benjamin Law Firm, LLC, has handled the legal representation of countless individuals in DWI cases, traffic violations, and expungement cases. We want to help you avoid as many of the repercussions of a criminal record as possible, whether it involves defending you against criminal charges or seeking an expungement of your records. Call our office at (816) 322-8008 to set up an appointment to speak with us today. �