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The People v. Paula Louise Brown

November 8, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
PAULA LOUISE BROWN, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 07F11491)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nicholson , Acting P. J.

P. v. Brown

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Defendant Paula Louise Brown appeals her conviction for possession of marijuana for sale. (Health & Saf. Code, § 11359; further undesignated statutory references are to the Health and Safety Code.) She contends (1) there was insufficient evidence supporting her conviction because the prosecution did not establish that she intended to sell marijuana for profit; (2) the court misinstructed the jury on the elements of the offense, leaving out a for-profit element; (3) the court failed to instruct on mistake of law as an affirmative defense; (4) the court failed to give a unanimity instruction; and (5) should any of the arguments regarding instructions be deemed forfeited for failure to object or request a specific instruction, then she received ineffective assistance of counsel. Finding no merit in defendant's contentions, we affirm.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

While conducting a lawful search of defendant's home, officers found numerous marijuana plants, marijuana-laced baked goods, and indicia of sales throughout the home.

In the garage, they found 45 marijuana seedling plants weighing 85.6 grams and three grow lights. In the backyard, they found 28 marijuana plants weighing a total of 22 pounds. In the kitchen, there were baking utensils with finely sifted powder residue that smelled like marijuana and a mixing bowl with 70 grams of marijuana in it. There was also cookie and brownie dough in the refrigerator/freezer and 3,114 grams of suspected marijuana butter.

In the living room, they found a variety of baked goods, including 40 green Rice Krispy treats, 24 cookies, and 29 brownies suspected of containing marijuana. There were also 256 grams of loose marijuana on the table and another 239 grams of marijuana in a cardboard box. Many of the baked goods were individually wrapped and labeled.

In addition to the marijuana and marijuana-laced baked goods, there was a variety of paperwork found in the living room amongst papers with defendant's name. This paperwork included an order form for "Cookey's Spectacular Munchies," a price sheet and invoice, and a distributor agreement. The invoice listed a variety of baked items, including chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and Rice Krispy treats. One document had numbers, prices, and totals filled in, an address, and the notation "billed." Another document stated that "Cookey's Spectacular Munchies will be mailing all deliveries of treats due to high volume of clients orders. Please send payments in a timely manner to ensure on time regular deliveries." It also indicated orders could be specially made and "[t]here is also a super batch for those with a high tolerance. This batch will be double in cost, and must be ordered as a half order minimum, no exceptions." The document went on to indicate there was a $30 minimum order and $10 shipping charges "to every order regardless of the amount."

The documents also stated that new clients were required to provide a signed copy of a verification agreement. The price sheet also assured the customers that Cookey's Spectacular Munchies followed Proposition 215 and section 11362.5, and that under California law the customers had the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes.

There was also a wholesale price list with handwritten notations and reductions in prices. The notes said, "[p]rices are only for Shan . . . . The crossed out prices are what is sold to stores in quantity of 50 treats or more. [¶] They then sell the treats at double that amount, so banana bread and carrot cake, the stores sell at $15. Brownies are ten and all other treats are $8. . . . [¶] . . . To my regular customers, slash, clients, slash, patients, I sell everything at $5 each. But as you can see, I am not only lowering the wholesale prices for you, I am also throwing in extras just for you to make something. . . . [¶] . . . I would recommend that you sell [the] top three for $10, and the rest for $6."

Deputies also found defendant's MediCann card*fn1 and a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana.

Detective Brad Rose testified as an expert on marijuana. He contrasted cannabis clubs, marijuana cooperatives, and marijuana collectives. A cannabis club operates as a for-profit business. A marijuana cooperative is a joint venture among marijuana growers to grow and dispense marijuana exclusively among its members. And a marijuana collective is a joint venture that sells marijuana grown by its members. He explained a single marijuana plant could yield as much as $5,000 worth of saleable product and an ounce of marijuana could sell for as much as $300. Relying on "the bake sale price guide, the information on shipping," the surveillance camera monitoring the entrance to the home, and the use of lower quality marijuana shake*fn2 in the baked goods, Rose ...


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