U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions Opens Door for Pot Crackdown

U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy this week that de-prioritized marijuana enforcement throughout the Department of Justice, a policy that largely paved the way for states like Colorado, Washington and California to open the door for ballot measures that legalized recreational pot use at the state level.

By rescinding the so-called Cole Memo, Sessions has opened the door for federal prosecutors to begin enforcement of the 1970s-era Controlled Substances Act, something former Attorney Generic Eric Holder had put on the back burner.

Mark spoke with FOX40 News about what the policy could mean for California residents and businesses.

“There’s no defense,” Mark said, adding that the Attorney General’s move could be devastating for those in the state-legal cannabis industry. Mark said in his experience, most people charged with marijuana-related crimes only have two chances of avoiding conviction: “Number one is, is it marijuana? Number two is, did you possess or sell it?”

But Mark said it’s premature to panic over the rescinded policy because it’s ultimately up to local Department of Justice prosecutors to decide if they’re going to enforce the law. So far, few have signaled a willingness to.

“It’s definitely wait and see,” Mark said.

Read the full story on FOX40’s website by clicking or tapping here.

Picnic Day Five Appear in Yolo County Court

Mark is representing Elijah Williams, one of five individuals charged over an incident during Picnic Day in Davis.

Prosecutors in Yolo County claim Williams was caught on camera hitting a police officer twice, something Mark said isn’t supported by any evidence he’s reviewed.

 

“The only evidence that we’ve seen…comes from a dashcam video from a civilian who happened to be following and on the scene,” Mark said. “We’re anxiously awaiting any other [evidence] that may exist.”

Read the full story on KCRA 3’s website here

UPDATE: The felony case against Williams and four other suspects were completely dismissed in December 2018, according to a report by the Davis Enterprise.

In Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva Case, Evidence Isn’t What It Appears to Be

Mark went on CBS13 and KPIX 5 to discuss a surreptitious recording used in the criminal case against Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva:

Mark and co-counsel Allen Sawyer said an audio recording between teenagers at a camp where Silva was a counselor was not only accidental but captured activity prior to Silva’s presence in the room.

“What we have learned through the complete audio recordings is that the game was occurring prior to Mayor Silva being present,” Allen said.

“We have never, ever even thought or considered contemplating charging someone with a crime for bad judgment,” Mark said. “One person’s judgment can be good, another person’s judgment can be considered bad.”

Both Mark and Allen said they felt evidence was being distorted in the case to smear Silva in an attempt to remove him as mayor, CBS13’s Drew Bollea reported.

Read the full story on KPIX 5’s website by clicking or tapping here.