Modesto Police are cracking down on illegal marijuana sales, the majority of which are popping up on sites like Craigslist and WeedMaps but some claimed police may be going after the wrong people.
The City of Modesto does not have any dispensaries, only marijuana medicine evaluation centers where you can be approved for a medicinal marijuana card.
“They monitor those sites regularly to combat some of the issues that are out there with selling marijuana online,” Modesto Police spokesperson Heather Graves said.
Officers with the Modesto Narcotics Enforcement Team contact sellers and arrest those selling for financial gain.
“Regardless of dispensary or not, it is illegal to sell it for a profit,” Graves told FOX40.
In the ads, the sellers claimed to be Prop 215 compliant, cite health and safety codes and even go so far as to tell potential buyers, if they’re a copy, don’t respond.
“Although that doesn’t bar subsequent criminal prosecution, these people are trying to take every step they can to operate within the spirit of the law,” Alan Donato, a medicinal marijuana and criminal defense attorney said.
Donato added the majority of people who buy marijuana on these websites aren’t criminals.
“People who are going on to these websites are terminally ill patients. They’re serious cancer patients,” Donato told FOX40.
According to Donato, since Modesto and other rural areas have pushed dispensaries out, the only option for those who depend on the drug is the internet but some of those who use medicinal marijuana said going online can be risky.
“Medicinal stuff so you know where you’re getting it from. You know, you don’t know what they put in that stuff so you know you got to be careful,” Martin, a man who did not give us his last name, said. He buys his cannabis from Sacramento.
Police added, marijuana deals may often lead to violence. In 2013 alone, two out of three homicides in Modesto were marijuana related.