Many police departments in California and around the country use roadside drug testing kits to determine whether or not items discovered by officers during stops or searches are illegal narcotics. These portable drug testing kits are inexpensive and easy to use, but they have been known to mistake benign substances like sugar and baking powder for methamphetamine or cocaine.
Two people from San Diego have been released on their own recognizance after being arrested in the Midwest for possession of methamphetamine. Post-arrest interviews documented in federal court filings with the woman, 58, and the man, 47, indicate that they knew they were transporting methamphetamine from California. The man allegedly said he knew that the drugs were in the vehicle because he and the woman used some during their cross-country drive. According to court records, the woman said she was delivering the drugs to someone in St. Paul.
On Sept. 27, California authorities arrested a man on drug charges at Cher's home in Malibu. However, the pop icon and actress is currently on tour in Australia.
Assembly Bill 1793 passed the California state legislature and was signed into law by the governor on Sept. 30. The law is designed to make it easier for people who were convicted of cannabis-related crimes in the past to clean up their records. People who have past marijuana convictions will have the opportunity under the new law to have their sentences reduced or their criminal records expunged.
A multi-agency investigation into gang activities and drug trafficking led to a series of early-morning raids on Sept. 20 and the arrest of 20 individuals according to the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California. Authorities say that a further six individuals named in federal complaints remain at large. The investigation into the Mexican Mafia prison gang and street gangs operating in the San Diego area involved hundreds of law enforcement officers and federal agents from agencies including the San Diego, Chula Vista, National City, El Cajon and La Mesa Police Departments, the San Diego County Sheriff's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A report released by the FBI says there is one marijuana arrest in the United States every 48 seconds. Marijuana arrests rose nationwide from 653,249 in 2016 to 659,700 in 2017. Arrests for possession of marijuana increased from 587,516 in 2016 to 599,282 in 2017, despite four new states legalizing it. California was one of the states to legalize marijuana in 2017, along with Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.
A Colombian man accused of playing a significant role in a major cocaine trafficking operation will face federal charges in Los Angeles. Upon his arrival to the United States, a U.S. attorney expressed gratitude for the cooperation of the Colombian government when arranging the extradition of the alleged drug kingpin.
The California native and chart-topping rapper Tyrone William Griffin Jr., who is more widely known by his stage name Ty Dolla $ign, was taken into custody on drug possession charges on the afternoon of Sept. 5 during a routine traffic stop in Georgia according to media reports. Atlanta police pulled Griffin's vehicle over just hours before the rapper was scheduled to appear on stage in Lakewood. He has been charged with marijuana and cocaine possession and is being held on a $6,000 bond at the Fulton County Jail according to media outlets.
In California, people may be charged with possessing drug paraphernalia even if they are not also charged with drug crimes. It is illegal to possess the tools that are used to smoke or inject drugs, and law enforcement officers may file charges if people have the prohibited instruments.
According to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, former NFL standout Todd Marinovich was taken into custody on March 23. This incident was not the former quarterback's first brush with law enforcement.