Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Medical Marijuana Deliveries Prosecuted as "Sales"
The young man told cops “he was going to make four or five more deliveries that evening.” He obligingly showed officers where to find the 15 gram bag of marijuana and THC-infused candies and one rolled cigarette that were located in his car.
Taylor Patrick Jensen said he was part of a “collective” called “Higher Elevation” and that he delivered marijuana to “patients,” according to Carlsbad police sergeant Matthew Lowe, who testified in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse today.
Carlsbad peace officers interrupted Jensen’s deliveries about 6 p.m. on a Tuesday evening, June 12, after a citizen reported witnessing suspected drug sales from a vehicle.
Testimony this afternoon suggested that Taylor Patrick Jensen, 22, and his mother Kristin Jensen, 43, operate a medical marijuana dispensary from their home in Carlsbad; it is named “Higher Elevation” and is said to be a non-profit corporation which delivers marijuana.
Private defense attorney Lance Rogers told the court that the operators of Higher Elevation have a proper seller’s permit, and he compared the “permissible reimbursements” of money to “giving a tithing to a church.”
Prosecutor Benjamin Barlow questioned whether the organization was actually a cooperative, since he said only Kristin Jensen’s name was on the articles of incorporation. Barlow also argued that payment of money for the marijuana was not a “donation” since the defendant reportedly told officers that he would not leave the “medicine” if he didn’t get paid.
Defense attorney Lance Rogers suggested to the court that current California law allows members of a marijuana collective to contribute “in kind” to a collective by “contributing” money.
Judge Daniel Goldstein stated that when the California legislature wrote the applicable law it did not include “monetary consideration” as permissible, but it did mention “cultivation,” and so Judge Goldstein concluded “they didn’t want any sales going on.”
Judge Goldstein further noted that the legislature created a “threshold of primary care-giver,” but that “primary care-giver” was not the role that Taylor Patrick Jensen described for himself to officers.
Taylor Patrick Jensen, 22, was ordered held to answer a single felony charge of possession of marijuana for sale, the maximum sentence for which could be 3 years local custody. Jensen is not currently in custody, and his next hearing date is set for August 30.
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