The law regarding marijuana in many states has been in flux lately. Anywhere from becoming legal to being slightly decriminalized, many can now benefit from the medicinal properties found within. But how has California been treating this trend? How will it benefit you, and how much is too much? Provided here will be the basics of the law generally, and the updated penalties. Then discussed are the most recent developments you may be interested in learning about.
California marijuana laws
Although California has not technically made marijuana legal, the penalties for possession have been drastically decriminalized. This does not mean, however, that selling marijuana or possessing marijuana with the intent to sell is legal. It is not!
Decriminalization is not the same thing as being legal. What California calls simple possession for personal use is a non-criminal infraction that is publishable by a one hundred dollar fine. On the bright side, there is no jail time. This is possession of no more than 28.5 grams of marijuana. Felony and misdemeanor crimes are still a possibility with marijuana, which include:
* Possession of more than 28.5 grams
* Possession of marijuana on school grounds
* Possession of any amount of concentrated cannabis
Medical marijuana is the exception. Since 1996, medical marijuana has been legal. Those who are entitled to use medical marijuana recommended by a doctor suffer from conditions such as – AIDS, Anorexia, Arthritis, Cancer and others.
These patients and their primary caregiver are exempt from the laws prohibiting simple possession, cultivation, transport and administration, provided the use is for the patient only and the amount is reasonable.
California marijuana penalties
The crimes involving marijuana vary from a mere infraction to a serious felony. Jail time is a consideration, along with fines. Provided here is a breakdown of the various penalties involved with marijuana possession:
* Possession of 28.5 grams or less is an infraction with no jail time and a one hundred dollar fine.
* Possession of 28.5 grams or less on school grounds by someone eighteen years of age or older is a misdemeanor with a possible ten days of jail time and up to a five hundred dollar fine.
* Possession of 28.5 grams or less on school grounds by someone under eighteen years old is a misdemeanor. If it is the first offense, there is no jail time and up to a two hundred and fifty dollar fine. If it is a second offence, then ten days in juvenile detention can be expected with up to a five hundred dollar fine.
* Possession of more than 28.5 grams is a misdemeanor with up to six months in jail and up to a five hundred dollar fine.
* Possession of concentrated cannabis can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances, with sixteen months to three years in jail, with no fine.
* Possession with the intent to sell, cultivation, sale, gift, transporting, or importing all carry their own penalties from misdemeanors to felonies with possible jail time and hefty fees.
Updates in 2016
The battle to make marijuana legal in California still rages on today. Most recently, an initiative was presented to the California state legislature entitled the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. This proposition requests that the adult use of marijuana be made legal, like it has been in Colorado or Washington State. The legislative will likely review the proposition in the fall.
There is no knowing how the legislature will decide on the matter. It is always best to look to what the law is today, rather than where it may be in the future. Things do change, but very slowly. As for now, keep in mind the possession charges above, and know that marijuana is still not legal; there is just less of a penalty for possessing 28.5 grams or less. Any more than that and you will find yourself in more trouble than it is worth.
Contact us if you have any further questions.