March 10, 2011

Marijuana Tickets in Los Angeles County Courts: Notes on Minors

Chatsworth Courthouse, 9245 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311

After a recent case former Los Angeles Juvenile Court Commissioner Jack J. Gold got dismissed for a client at the Chatsworth Courthouse, we would like to share what we learned.  Before he stepped foot into court, Jack made a few phone calls, spoke to some collegaues and read an e-mail, explaining the policy on how the courts are dealing with medical marijuana cases. It seems if your client has a physician's recommendation and/or a picture ID or card, the first place to start is the traffic window line.

The clerk at the window will give a date to appear in court. As an example, say you went on March 10th, 2011, you would probably be given a court date sometime in October 2011. At the court date, the physician's recommendation and/or a picture ID or card, should be shown to the Judge/Commissioner and the case, if filed as a violation of California Health and Safety Code Section 11357(b), commonly known as possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, should be dismissed.

NOTES ON JUVENILES: As far as he was aware, in his 26 years as a Commissioner in the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, he did not know of a specific provision in the Welfare and Institutions Code, Vehicle Code, Health and Safety Code, or Penal Code addressing this issue. However, because he was hired to represent and defend a minor client who was charged with a crime (Health and Safety Code 11357(b), possession of under an ounce of marijuna) he took it seriously and did legal research. The only places he found that mentions "minors" are in SB 420, and the State of California, which issues the application for Medical Marijuana under SB 420.

On the application, next to where it says "primary caregiver" it reads, "A parent, if the applicant is a Minor, is to sign for the minor." We believe that by implication this includes minors within the purview of the Medical Marijuan Laws. We have attached a photo of the Chatsworth Courthouse. It is a beautiful building both inside and out. Nicest I've ever seen.

The Commissioner
Jack J. Gold
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