Pubdate: Tue, 20 May 2014
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2014 Los Angeles Times
Author: Patrick McGreevy


SACRAMENTO - Under a bill pending in the Legislature, law enforcement 
agencies in California that file charges against medical marijuana 
users would have to return any pot they seize or reimburse the user 
for it if the charges are dropped or result in acquittal.

The main purpose of the bill, by state Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa 
Rosa), is to reduce the quantity of seized marijuana that a law 
enforcement agency must keep in its possession, from 10 pounds to 2 
pounds. It is supported by the Peace Officers Research Assn. of 
California and the California State Sheriffs' Assn.

Evans' measure would also protect those wrongly charged. It would 
allow the defense of the accused to inspect the property before its 
destruction. And the bill says that on dismissal or acquittal of a 
case, the defendant would be entitled to have the marijuana and 
paraphernalia returned.

If the pot has been destroyed, the defendant would be entitled to 
"reasonable compensation."

"This bill serves the dual purposes of assisting law enforcement at a 
practical level with marijuana storage and securing the rights of 
individuals who are following the law," Evans said. "It's not too 
often we have the collaboration of peace officers and the medical 
marijuana industry on legislation."

The measure, SB 1193, was approved unanimously by the Senate Public 
Safety Committee.
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