While there are both state and federal drug crime laws, drug trafficking is often punished particularly harshly under federal law. Sentencing for drug crimes can vary dramatically depending on a number of factors. The United States Sentencing Guidelines Commission establishes the sentencing guidelines for federal drug trafficking. Sentences for drug trafficking will vary, but penalties tend to be harsh.
A California man agreed to turn over $25 million in assets to federal prosecutors in exchange for leniency during sentencing. Among the assets the man will forfeit is a million-dollar San Clemente home and a number of mobile home properties that are currently scattered throughout Mammoth. According to federal prosecutors, the accused is facing 20 years in prison, if convicted.
The accused man is a well-known fixture in the California medical marijuana world. The California man is accused of operating one of the largest storefront marijuana operations in the entire region. Although California law allows for medicinal marijuana, federal law continues to prohibit the use of marijuana in any form.
Although state law allows people to use medical marijuana, there are still many unanswered questions. The California Supreme Court is currently considering whether state law should allow for storefront operations. There is a major divide between federal and state law that has yet to be resolved. While the administration has chosen not to intervene in the state's decision as of yet, the law can change quickly.
California residents facing drug charges can face stiff penalties. It is important that those accused of such crimes make sure their rights are protected and all possible legal defenses are examined.
KPCC, "Owner of nine pot shops pleads guilty to federal drug trafficking charges," Frank Stoltze, April 1, 2013