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Sonoma County Trial To Determine Legality Of Selling Marijuana Online

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An image of a marijuana bud from a Craigslist ad appears over search results for medical marijuana. (Craigslist/CBS)

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SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – An upcoming trial in Sonoma County could determine the legality of buying and selling medicinal marijuana over the Internet.

In April, Santa Rosa Police arrested 43-year-old Krish Singh after setting up a marijuana purchase from his Craigslist ad, which offered high-grade marijuana for $2,700 a pound, according to a report in the Press Democrat.

The report said the posting included a banner citing Prop. 215, the voter-approved measure which allows Californians to use and possess pot with a doctor’s recommendation.

Undercover officers set up the purchase at a Target store parking lot and arrested Singh despite his claims that the marijuana in his car was intended for qualified medical marijuana patients, according to the report.

A recent search on Craigslist found any number of ads touting top shelf strains of weed along with their degrees of effectiveness, each ad claiming to be only intended for Prop 215 compliant buyers with proper paperwork and identification.

Santa Rosa police Sgt. Mike Tosti told the Press Democrat that most of the Craigslist ads are posted by drug dealers who are attempting to do business by masquerading as medical marijuana care providers.

“Our stance is it absolutely isn’t for medical purposes,” Tosti said.

Defense lawyers say marijuana distribution among patients is allowed under state law and there is no provision against Internet advertising.

“Nothing in state law prohibits this,” Santa Rosa attorney Joe Rogoway told the Press Democrat. “Provided that both are qualified patients.”

“I suppose it’s like selling any other product on Craigslist,” Singh’s lawyer, Jeff Mitchell, told the Press Democrat. “It is legal medicine provided to patients.”

Singh has been charged with felony possession of marijuana for sale. Trial for the Rohnert Park resident is scheduled to begin on August 31.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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