The constantly-changing landscape of medical marijuana has left many with questions about whether their use is within the boundaries of current law.  For example, respected defense attorney, Eric D. Shevin says, “it is widely believed that medical marijuana is legal when in fact marijuana remains illegal under all circumstances. Medical marijuana laws simply provide a defense to criminal marijuana charges.”  This is among the issues that Shevin will address through a new regular column at

“Our readers constantly come to us with questions about current law and where it’s headed,” says THE 420 TIMES’ Editor David Brian.  “We’re gratified to offer them the counsel of one of the foremost experts on this specialized area of law.  In his new column, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, Eric will offer medical marijuana users advice on avoiding legal hassles while preserving access to the medicine they need.”

Some other misconceptions that Shevin will answer involve the belief that patients can grow and possess any amount a doctor writes on a recommendation. Shevin notes that “Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Supreme Court has conclusively ruled that the patient has the burden of proving that any amount of marijuana cultivated or possessed is an amount necessary for the patients medical use. Doctors do a disservice to their patients when recommending enormous amounts, as it appears the Doctor is only relying on the patients’ representations.  Would a doctor write a prescription for 10000 Vicodins? Of course not.  The doctor’s credibility would be destroyed as a result. Nothing harms a patient more than having their doctor look like a quack.”

An experienced courtroom advocate, Shevin is a lifetime member of the NORML legal committee and a recipient of the Defender of Justice Award from Americans for Safe Access.  He is an expert on the intricacies of medical marijuana law and has represented the interests of patients impacted by restrictive dispensary regulations in the City of Los Angeles.

Conflicting medical marijuana laws at the state, federal and local level have led to a great deal of confusion about what is permitted — and how a patient’s legal situation can vary from one jurisdiction to another.  “I look forward to fielding readers’ questions and helping them make sense of a confusing and evolving situation,” Shevin says.

On line readers of The 420 Times can submit questions to and read Shevin’s regular column at  The site also features news, features, a dispensary locator, patient profiles and an active on line community.

Joe Klare

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3 Responses

  1. nicole

    I was wondering is it really considered child abuse to have a grow operation in the basement of your home. Is it child abuse to only grow the six plants that a patient is allowed. Is there a number of plants that would incite the child abuse charge. Are patients and caregivers not protected under amendment 20 from civil and criminal prosecution. Is the charge of child abuse something that parents should worry about even if there just growing there 6 plants and not 100. If a couple has several patients and are caregivers for those patients and have under 100 plants can the child abuse charge stand. How can a parent protect themselves from being charged with child abuse. Could the parents have the grow behind two locked doors. If my house is separated into different apartments and has been for years and rented out to people as separate apartments, and i choose to use one of those apartments to grow less than 100 in the basement apartment. Can i be charged with child abuse because they reside on the same premises, or is it considered a different premises because of it being a different apartment with out side access. Please any answers to the slue of questions would be greatly appreciated. I have to say that i am very disappointed in the way legislature and the DEA has handled all the mmj issues. I can not believe that we STILL have to fear our government because we cant be trusted by them to responsibly grow marijuana. I should be charged with child abuse for allowing my children around all the other plants i have. Many if eaten by a small child could fall ill. Why isn’t the DEA busting down doors and taking my Venus Fly. Will there ever be a day that we have an intelligent rational thinker, working for its people, instead of against us only to fill there pockets.

  2. Utah Attorney

    I actually came across this on Google, and I am really happy I did. I will definately be returning here a lot more often. Wish I could add towards the post and bring a bit much more for the table, but am just absorbing as much info as I can at the moment.

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