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Archive for the ‘federal law’ tag

Congress Says No Funds to go to Medical Marijuana Prosecutions

December 30th, 2014 at 8:18 am

drug possession, Illinois drug crimes attorney, drug dealing, Illinois defense lawyer,After generations of taking a hardline stance on the War on Drugs, Congress finally effectively ended the federal government’s ban on medical marijuana, at least for now. This extraordinary news can provide comfort for those involved in Illinois’ medical marijuana program. Rather than facing potential federal drug charges, nationwide users, growers, and sellers who comply with state laws regulating medical marijuana will finally be able to relax when it comes to the fear of federal prosecution.

Congress Cuts Funding for Medical Marijuana Prosecutions

While Congress did not actually “legalize” medical marijuana on a federal level, it did the next best thing. The Los Angeles Times reports that Congress included language in its massive spending bill that cut funding for prosecuting these crimes. So while operating a medical marijuana dispensary is still technically a violation of federal law, federal agents and prosecutors will not be able to prosecute these crimes because they will not have the money to do so, so long as the so-called criminal is complying with state laws regarding medical marijuana. Congress’ action comes on the coattails of the Obama administration’s efforts to follow a similar policy over the last year, but Congress’ action is the first time that the federal government has actually codified any type of decriminalization of marijuana since criminalizing it in the first place.

What this Means for Illinois Medical Marijuana

It is a little unclear whether Congress’ action will have any immediate practical effect in Illinois. This is because while our legislature has authorized the use of medical marijuana, we currently don’t have any legally authorized medical marijuana dispensaries. Illinois is preparing to authorize the first dispensaries, and state officials are expected to announce who will receive the first licenses in the state to sell medical marijuana some time before the end of the year. Ultimately there will be 21 grow centers and 60 dispensaries spread across the states. Once these businesses are actually licensed and up and running, they will have a much easier road than dispensaries in other states like California faced when they opened for business only to be subjected to raids by the FBI and DEA. But until these businesses actually are up and running, there will be no one lawfully dispensing medical marijuana under Illinois law, so the new federal law will have no effect here.

Criminal Defense Attorney

If you find yourself accused of a drug crime you will need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley and schedule a consultation today.

Federal Action Renews Privacy Questions

October 29th, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, police privacy issue, DEA, An recent report discussed federal action in a drug case involving the use of a fake social media account seemingly belonging to a criminal defendant who had been charged with numerous drug crimes. Allegedly, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent set up a false account using photos and other personal information taken from a criminal defendant’s cell phone in order to get others to reveal incriminating information. Although the Justice Department is purportedly reviewing the case, a federal lawsuit ensued and the case was set to be heard in a New York Court in mid-October, but may now be mediated.

Privacy Considerations

This case is just one example of the privacy concerns that have been raised in different states across the country – including Illinois – specifically regarding the protection of privacy in light of developing technology. The law is clearly struggling to keep up with the changing world of social media, cell phones, and other technological developments. While the use of some of these technologies may be acceptable and legal within the context of a criminal investigation, it seems the line can easily be crossed into raising important privacy issues that both courts and law enforcement may find difficult to address.

Legal experts, too, seem to be struggling with the privacy in the age of evolving technology issue. Many of the rules of law regarding privacy protections are severely outdated compared to the technologies that are readily available to average members of the public in today’s society. The problem arises when trying to make new technologies fit these older rules. These technological advancements are prompting those in the legal field to question how they see items such as a phone and social media profiles.

Case at Hand

The case at hand presents an interesting set of facts for the court to consider in making a decision, if it comes to that. While law enforcement officials may routinely set up false social media accounts and profiles in their investigations, this case reportedly involves an agent using another person’s identity and information to do so without her consent. In addition, the defendant is arguing that she cooperated with law enforcement by turning her cell phone over, but not with the understanding that they would use the information they obtained in a different context other than looking for evidence of a crime.

Criminal Defense Attorney

Issues with police procedure can arise in any type of criminal case. It is important to enlist the representation of an attorney who can identify legal issues in your case and advocate for your rights. The dedicated Rolling Meadows defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have successful experience representing clients in many types of criminal matters. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

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