Review by Allan Parmelee
This book is must reading for anyone interested in knowing what their rights are when dealing with police in general as well as every aspect of the law as it concerns the use, possession, growing and sale of marijuana. The book is written well and concisely and contains legal information written in plain English for the layperson, while also including case cites for those who want to use it as a research guide. This book is bad for police, devastating to prosecutors but exceptionally good for criminal defendants and rights oriented citizens. Every criminal defendant or citizen who has an encounter with police should read this book. Despite its title, it contains invaluable information for everyone, not just marijuana users.
In twelve concise chapters the author discusses everything from marijuana's legal definition to drug testing. This is not some light weight story, but an exceptionally detailed step by step analysis of marijuana, its growth, sale, use, possession and criminal penalties around the country. Of greater interest to a general audience, the book discusses in detail the constitutional law basics of searches, stops, seizures and other encounters with police. This is not just a summary but a discussion, backed by current case law, on sample hotel raids, the rights of people being searched, the rights of citizens questioned or searched by police, how police misconduct can invalidate a search and much more.
Marijuana Law also gives detailed information on government surveillance and spying on its citizens, including the use of informants, set ups, entrapment, mail covers, utility bills, sophisticated electronic surveillance devices and much more. Most importantly, not only does the book describe these government techniques, it also explains what to do and how to behave when encountering police. The book explains legal versus illegal searches, dog sniffs, clone pagers, phone taps, garden searches and much more. The author also includes chapters on the religious and medicinal use of marijuana and how the law recklessly infringes on its use.
The author is a criminal defense attorney. Marijuana Law has excellent advice for everyone on what to do if you are arrested, what not to do, how to appear in court, how to hire an attorney, court appointed counsel, how to make bail, forfeitures of property, what to do if convicted and the penalties marijuana users face if they are convicted of marijuana related crimes. Marijuana Law concludes with a chapter on drug tests, how they work, false positives and false negatives and what causes them, the law surrounding such tests and more.
This is a great book. Its only shortcoming is the title which probably misleads a lot of people into thinking its information is relevant only to people who use or are otherwise involved with marijuana, when in fact it isn't. Marijuana Law is available directly from Prison Legal News for $15.99 plus $3.20 priority mail shipping. Send orders to: PLN, 2400 N.W. 80th St. PMB 148, Seattle, WA 98117.
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