Ian Christensen through his law firm reportedly told people, including the couple Scott and Marsha Yandell, that they could get a certificate that protects them from being arrested should they prove they medically needed marijuana.
The certification reportedly cost about $800 each.
However, the Yandells faced criminal prosecution in 2015 for manufacturing, possessing with intent to sell and trafficking cannabis after the lawyer told them they could legally use marijuana, The Florida Times-Union
The Yandells – who have since settled case with 3 years’ probation, a $15,000 fine and 100 hours of community service – are suing Christensen. They are also among the lawyer’s former clients who have complained to the Florida Bar about the lawyer.
Christensen, for his part, has written in response to the lawsuit that the certification he offered can only be used after arrest as defence. He also said he didn’t profit from his business.
“I never told people they could not be arrested, but there were plenty of instances where they were not arrested,” the lawyer said.
Nonetheless, The Florida Times-Union
reported that the law firm’s site included the following erroneous passage: “if a patient can prove to a law enforcement officer that cannabis is the safest medication available to treat their diagnosed condition, they are NOT subject to arrest.”
The lawyer is said to have been part of the opposition in 2014 for a constitutional amendment to make marijuana legal. He said then that it was already legal.
A lawyer who allegedly profited from peddling licenses to grow medical marijuana is currently facing a racketeering charge in Florida.