New Ask-A-Lawyer Column!

bettercallglew.jpg
Jay Brockman
Fans of the AMC drama Breaking Bad are familiar with Saul Goodman, the ethically-challenged, pretend-Jewish lawyer whose oft-repeated jingle advises potential clients to "Better Call Saul!" So with apologies to comedian Bob Odendirk, we present our latest, newest Navel Gazing column . . . Better Call Glew!

Unlike Goodman, Christopher Glew is a real attorney--and a highly ethical one, too! Specifically, he's a criminal defense lawyer who focuses on drug crimes, specifically marijuana. He's even got his own "Marijuana Lawyer" blog.

Each Thursday, Glew will answer questions from readers--see the first two after the jump!
What is the deal with this "legal untraceable cocaine and mushrooms" ads I have been seeing. Will I get arrested if I call the number and order some with my card? Since when has legal cocaine and mushrooms been so readily available?

Cocaine and psilocybin mushrooms are illegal under state and federal law. Therefore, under no circumstance is it legal to possess or distribute these items and as such it is highly deceptive to even use the phrase "legal" in connection with mushrooms or cocaine. However, many less-than-scrupulous companies take advantage of the current drug laws by staying a few molecules ahead of currently banned substances by creating compounds that are similar enough in look and potentially affect on the user to merit a high demand while remaining legal.

The biggest question is how dangerous these new products might be. It's possible that many of these products are even more dangerous than the illegal substances they are meant to replace. From a legal perspective it is also very dangerous to purchase these products. The problem is that unless you have a lawyer research the specific compound to make sure it is not a banned substance under state law or federal law, you cannot be certain that it is in fact legal.

Just because the ad claims the product is legal is certainly no guarantee. Remember it is your freedom and your record that will be negatively impacted if the ad is wrong. If you choose to purchase products from any of these companies I would encourage you to ask the company representative if they will pay your legal fees if you are arrested.

My friend is a police officer and he told me that if I ever get pulled over for DUI I should not blow into their machine.Is this true?

It is important to know that there are two separate instances for administration of a breath test during the course of a DUI investigation. All California drivers must submit to a chemical test upon demand of law enforcement once you've been arrested. But there's another kind of test--the so-called "Preliminary Alcohol Screening" or PAS test.

The PAS device is a handheld instrument that law enforcement utilizes to detect the presence of breath alcohol. It's known to be unreliable and if you haven't been arrested yet, you're not under any legal obligation to submit to it. At this initial stage the officer is attempting to generate probable cause to arrest you. If you assist by consenting to the PAS screening then you are merely helping them find probable cause.

The reason you should submit to the breath test after arrest is that if you don't, you can lose your license for one year on a first DUI. If you had simply submitted to the breath or blood test then the maximum you could lose your license for is six months on a first DUI. You're also eligible to receive a restricted license after thirty days if you did not refuse the chemical test.

Your friend should have made sure you understood that there are two potential breath tests and distinguished between the two. My conclusion is that your "friend" either isn't the smartest cop on the block, or he's just trying to make it easier to bust you!

Send all your questions (marijuana-related or not) to Glew at glewkimlaw@yahoo.com. Remember: Better Call Glew!

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13 comments
Pumpuy2010
Pumpuy2010

So if I am pulled over and the officer thinks I am under the influence of alcohol, I can say I don't want to take the PAS test since I have not yet been arrested? Can I refuse any requests he makes before I am arrested? At what point can he make an arrest? 

thoughtfelon
thoughtfelon

So should I, or should I not submit to the first breath test?

Bozo
Bozo

Glew sniffing glue? -- Vague non-advice -- anyone can read what the law says.-- Dumb conclusion about cop's advice (he may have referred to PAS only).-- Still grammatically challenged after all those years in school.In short, worth every penny paid.

NG Coot
NG Coot

Glew - He's one of the crew trying to set up a "medical" marijuana cartel in Santa Ana.

Pursuant to this Initiative no less than 20 medical marijuana consumer cooperatives/collectives (dispensaries) shall be legally established in the City of Santa Ana. The first 20 dispensaries shall include the 20 listed in this Initiative.The City Council may create a panel of representatives from 14 dispensaries and 7 City officials to enact a set of regulatory controls to monitor and regulate dispensaries, replace closed dispensaries and increase the number of dispensaries located in the City.No one may operate a medical marijuana dispensary in the City of Santa Ana unless it is named in this Initiative or added by the panel of 14 dispensary representatives to 7 City officials."The purpose of this Initiative is to restrict the number of medical marijuana dispensaries which may operate in the City of Santa Ana" … for the benefit of the original 20 cartel members.I added the last part of the above sentence in order to illustrate the effect of the Initiative.

criminal lawyers
criminal lawyers

It's possible that private sector testing could serve as a type of substitute. Industry has shown a willingness to share that information, so those are the kinds of things that need to talk about.

909Jeff
909Jeff

On the DUI i also was told that its better to submit to an actual blood test,  if your going to fight it its easier for the attorney to claim that the sample was tainted or proper chain of custody wasn't followed etc... 

Ghostladyjames
Ghostladyjames

I have seen this this man at work in the courtroom defending marijuana cases.....he is really really good. Marla Orange County ASA

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Just curious.  What's his win/loss record on cannabis cases?

Ghostladyjames
Ghostladyjames

That is not what the final draft says. Firstly all collectives in Santa Ana were asked to join this group. The collectives that chose not to be part of this chose not to be compliant with the city. The purpose of such an initiative is to overturn the current ban and have the collectives be legal. How many collectives do you think should be in a city such as Santa Ana? We need to make sure that when a patient goes into a collective they should not have the anxiety that any minute they could be raided. What would you suggest. 

Athirson
Athirson

Not so. The blood test is more accurate. The breath test is easier to attack because the prosecution has to prove your blood alcohol level, not your breath alcohol level. The only advantage to a blood test is if you absolutely, positively have a BAC of zero. But then again, if that were so, the cops probably would not have bothered to arrest you

NG Coot
NG Coot

That is exactly what the final draft says, the one presented to the City - not word for word - but that is the precisly the effect -  a drug cartel running the City.

I think that here should be 18 medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of Santa Ana.  There should be 3 per ward - 6 wards times 3 equals 18.  This will serve to provide equal access throughout the City.

I think that the dispensaries should be required to be located in appropriate buildings with ADA access - so the nice little old lady in a wheel chair is not blocked from getting access to her medical marijuana by stairs as the only access to the second or third floor.

I have no suggestion as to what the City could do concerning a raid by the Federal government.  But the SAPD, or other City officials, should not be forbidden from cooperating with Federal drug authorities concerning marijuana dispensaries.

The initiative has no requirement for or enforcement of their so-called “good neighbor” policies.  Dispensaries should be no closer than 600 feet from residential.  These and other requirements need to be codified.

The initiative, drafted by dispensary supporters and owners, is highly leveraged to the advantage of the dispensaries (cartel).  An advisory panel should be made up of 14 City officials and 7 dispensary representatives.

There should be prequalifications and a lottery to determine the operators of the dispensaries.

Trash your cartel Initiative and start over.

NG Coot
NG Coot

"Again the final draft won't be done until tonight."What do you mean?  The Initiative was turned in to the City in final form."Second a lottery is illegal per the PACK decision (see Long Beach)."Then find another way which does not set up a gigantic monetary interest for a few cartel members."You forgot to mention a 2% tax which will go to the city's general fund."The City does not need your bribery drug money."Mr. Glew was only an adviser We had several lawyers look over the initiative and the initial initiative was written by another lawyer."Glew was a signatory on the Initiative turned in to the City."We spent time with the police commander and got input from the city attorney."How about spending time with Santa Ana businesses and residents?I doubt if you got a full buy-off approval from the SAPD and City attorney."All the collectives are ADA accessible .."That is false - I have seen them myself.  It needs to be codified."As for the Feds, we are working on that on another level.'Good luck with that.

Ghostladyjames
Ghostladyjames

Again the final draft won't be done until tonight. Second a lottery is illegal per the PACK decision (see Long Beach). You forgot to mention a 2% tax which will go to the city's general fund. Mr. Glew was only an adviser We had several lawyers look over the initiative and the initial initiative was written by another lawyer. We spent time with the police commander and got input from the city attorney.  All the collective are ADA accessible, as I am in a wheelchair myself. As for the Feds, we are working on that on another level.  

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