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Name: People v. Colvin
Case #: B227958
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/23/2012
Summary

The Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMPA), provides a defense to charges of transportation of marijuana and possession of concentrated cannabis when they are carried by a qualified patient operating a legitimate dispensary. The defendant was one of 14 grower members of a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary group with 5,000 members which was in the process of complying with the Medical Marijuana Collective Ordinance in Los Angeles. He grew marijuana and dropped it off at the dispensary for other members to purchase. He was carrying just over a pound of marijuana, concentrated cannabis, and cocaine and was arrested a block and a half from the dispensary clinic. At a court trial, the defendant was convicted of sale or transportation of marijuana (Health & Saf. Code § 11360, subd. (a)) and possession of concentrated cannabis (Health & Saf. Code § 11357, subd. (a)). The trial court found that he was a qualified patient and that he was operating a legitimate dispensary, but concluded that he was not entitled to a defense under Health and Safety Code section 11362.775 because the transportation charge had nothing to do with the cultivation process. The judgment for transportation of marijuana and possession of concentrated cannabis were reversed. The statute’s plain and commonsense meaning entitles a qualified patient who associates with like persons to collectively or cooperatively cultivate marijuana to a defense under Health and Safety Code section 11362.775. The defense applied in this case because the trial court found that the defendant was a qualified patient and that he was operating a legitimate dispensary.