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State of New Jersey v. Blake S. Elfand

April 11, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
BLAKE S. ELFAND, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County, Indictment No. 09-08-1682.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 20, 2012

Before Judges Baxter and Maven.

Defendant appeals his conviction for second-degree conspiracy to distribute over five pounds of marijuana in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(b). He was sentenced to five years in prison with fines and penalties. We find no merit in the arguments presented. We affirm.

I.

United States Postal Inspectors intercepted a parcel headed to an address in Freehold, New Jersey from California. After a narcotics detection dog alerted to the parcel, postal inspectors detained the parcel and secured a search warrant. The opened parcel revealed fourteen sealed metal canisters. Upon opening two canisters and discovering marijuana, all of the canisters were turned over to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, which obtained an anticipatory search warrant for the intended residence. Police arrested co-defendant William McGrath after he accepted delivery of the parcel at the residence. Defendant was arrested when he came to the residence to pick up the parcel.

After filing a motion to suppress evidence alleging that the federal search warrant was improperly issued, defendant voluntarily withdrew the motion and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana.*fn1 To establish a factual basis for the plea, defendant admitted to conspiring with the co-defendant to distribute more than five pounds of marijuana in Freehold. Defendant also acknowledged that he and co-defendant arranged for the marijuana to be delivered to the residence where defendant would pick it up. Defendant acknowledged that he knew the parcel contained marijuana and knew it was illegal to possess and distribute marijuana in New Jersey. The trial judge accepted defendant's plea as knowing and voluntary.

Defendant raises the following points on appeal:

POINT I:

THE ENACTMENT OF NEW JERSEY COMPASSIONATE USE ACT LEGALIZED MARIJUANA FOR MEDICAL USE AND THUS REDACTED IT FROM ITS SCHEDULE I LISTING LEAVING THE TRIAL COURT WITHOUT JURISDICTION TO CONVICT THE APPELLANT OF THE CHARGED OFFENSES.

A. The NJCSA and its underlying criminal statutes can only charge crimes involving drugs defined as controlled substances.

B. Case law and state legislative actions from other medical marijuana states seem to insinuate ...


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