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California Marijuana Law, Regulation, Penalties, Attornies & Congressman

California Marijuana Legalization

SUMMARY: Fifty-six percent of California voters approved Proposition 64, The Adult Use Marijuana Act, which permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to eight grams of concentrates) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. (Medical cannabis patients are not subject to these limits.) The measure prohibits localities from taking actions to infringe upon adults’ ability to possess and cultivate cannabis for non-commercial purposes. The initiative does not “repeal, affect, restrict, or preempt … laws pertaining to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.” Several other marijuana-related activities not legalized by the measure are reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. The law also provides for resentencing consideration for those found guilty of prior marijuana convictions.

The revised marijuana penalties took effect on November 9, 2016. Retail sales of marijuana by state-licensed establishments are scheduled to begin under the law on January 1, 2018. On site consumption is permitted under the law in establishments licensed for such activity. Large-scale corporate players are restricted from becoming involved until 2023.

California Marijuana Penalties

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  

Possession

Personal Use

Up to 1 oz No penalty None $ 0
28.5 grams or less, over 18 years, and occurred on school grounds Misdemeanor 10 days $ 500
28.5 grams or less, under 18 years Misdemeanor 10 days* $ 250
More than 28.5 grams Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500

With Intent to Distribute

Any amount Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500
*Detention center

Sale or Delivery

Any amount Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500
Gift of 28.5 grams or less No penalty N/A $ 100
Over 18 years to an individual 14-17 years Felony 3 – 5 years N/A
Over 18 years to an individual under 14 years Felony 3 – 7 years N/A

Cultivation

Up to 6 plants No penalty None $ 0
6 plants or more Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500

Hash & Concentrates

Up to 8 g No penalty None $ 0
8 g or more Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500
Unauthorized manufacture N/A 16 months – 3 years $ 500
Chemical manufacture N/A 3 – 7 years $ 50,000

Paraphernalia

Sale, delivery, possession with intent, and manufacture with intent Misdemeanor 15 days – 6 months $ 500
Involving a minor at least 3 years junior Misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000

Forfeiture

Vehicles and other property may be seized for controlled substance violations.

Miscellaneous

Using a minor in the unlawful sale or transport of marijuana is a Felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment. Inducing a minor to use marijuana is also a Felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment.
Any violation of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act results in a fine up to $150.
A person who participates in the illegal marketing of marijuana is liable for civil damages.
It is a Misdemeanor to loiter in a public place with the intent to commit certain controlled substances offenses.
A controlled substance conviction can result in suspension of driving privileges.

Penalty Details

Marijuana is a Schedule I hallucinogenic substance under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code § 11054(d)(13)

Possession for Personal Use

Proposition 64, The Adult Use Marijuana Act, permits adults over 21 years of age who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to eight grams of concentrates) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The law took effect on November 9, 2016. 

See

Possession of more than 28.5 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $500. If the amount possessed is 28.5 grams or less but the person is 18 years of age or older and the possession occurred on school grounds, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 10 days imprisonment and/or a fine up to $500. If the offender was younger than 18 years of age, then the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $250 for the first offense and a fine up to $500 or commitment to a detention center for up to 10 days.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code § 11357

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Possession with intent to distribute more than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by 6 months imprisonment and a fine of $500.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code § 11359
  • California Penal Code § 1170(h)

Sale/Delivery

Monetary transactions involving the sale or delivery of any amount of marijuana by someone who does not possess a state licensed permit is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. However, gifting marijuana in quantities up to one ounce for no remuneration is legal.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code § 11360

Delivery or attempted delivery of any amount of marijuana by an individual aged 18 years or older to an individual who is 14-17 years old is a felony punishable by 3-5 years imprisonment. Delivery or attempted delivery of any amount of marijuana by an individual aged 18 years or older to an individual who is under the age of 14 is a felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment. Sale or attempted sale of any amount of marijuana by an individual aged 18 years or older to an individual under 18 years of age is a felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code § 11361

Cultivation

Proposition 64, The Adult Use Marijuana Act, permits adults over 21 years of age who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants). The law took effect on November 9, 2016.

Hash & Concentrates

In California, hashish or concentrates are referred to as “concentrated cannabis”. Proposition 64, The Adult Use Marijuana Act, permits adults over 21 years of age who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to possess up to eight grams of concentrates. The law took effect on November 9, 2016. Read more »

See

The penalties associated with the manufacture of hashish or concentrates depends on what method was used during the manufacture. If the manufacturing process involved extraction chemicals, such as butane, then it is considered manufacture by means of chemical synthesis of a controlled substance. Manufacture by means of chemical synthesis of a controlled substance carries a fine no greater than $50,000 and a term of imprisonment of 3, 5, or 7 years as determined by the court. If the manufacturing process utilized screens, presses, or any other means not involving a chemical synthesis, then the offense is considered unauthorized processing of marijuana. Unauthorized processing of marijuana carries a term of imprisonment 16 months, 2 years, or three years as determined by the court.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code §11379.6(a)
  • California Health & Safety Code §11358
  • California Penal Code §1170(h)
  • People v. Bergen, 166 Cal.App.4th 161 (2008)

Apart from the provisions mentioned, concentrated cannabis is included within the definition of marijuana for all other offenses, such as intent to sell, providing to a minor, etc. For information concerning those offenses, check the California marijuana laws section of this website.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code §11018

Paraphernalia

There is no penalty for the simple possession of marijuana paraphernalia. Sale, delivery, possession with intent to sell or deliver, and manufacture with intent to sell or deliver marijuana paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by 15-180 days imprisonment and/or a fine of $30-$500. Delivery of marijuana paraphernalia by an individual aged 18 years or older to a minor at least 3 years his junior is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code § 11364.7
  • California Health & Safety Code § 113747

Sentencing

Possession for personal use, using or being under the influence of marijuana, presence in a room where a marijuana violation occurs, or cultivation of marijuana if the amount is for personal use are offenses that are eligible for deferred entry of judgment if certain conditions are met. These include: no prior convictions for controlled substances violations; the offense charged did not involve violence; there is no evidence that narcotics or restricted dangerous drugs were involved; the offender has never had probation or parole revoked; the offender has not completed this deferred entry within 5 years of the time of the charged offense; and the offender has no felony convictions within 5 years of the time of the charged offense.

See

  • California Penal Code § 1000

Probation may be available for marijuana offenses. As a condition of probation for controlled substances violations, offenders must participate in education or treatment if the court determines that it will benefit the offender. Sentences for many violations may not be eligible for probation or suspension if the offender has been previously convicted of a felony offense involving a controlled substance.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code § 11370
  • Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11373
  • California Penal Code § 1203.1

Forfeiture

Vehicles and other property may be seized for controlled substance violations. Upon conviction for sale, possession with intent to distribute, or cultivation of marijuana, the seized property becomes the property of the state. If law enforcement seizes property which it does not intend to use as evidence and the seizing agency does not refer the case to the Attorney General for forfeiture proceedings within 15 days, the property must be returned. If the Attorney General intends to pursue a forfeiture proceeding, then a person claiming interest in the property has 30 days from actual notice or publication of notice of the proceedings to respond.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code §§ 11469-11495

Miscellaneous

Involvement of a minor in a drug offense

Using a minor in the unlawful sale or transport of marijuana is a felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment. Inducing a minor to use marijuana is also a felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code § 11361
Drug program fee

Any violation of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act results in a fine up to $150 in addition to the authorized fine for the offense.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code § 11372.7
Drug Dealer Liability Act

A person who participates in the illegal marketing of marijuana is liable for civil damages caused by these actions.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code §§ 11700-1171
Loitering for drug activities

It is a misdemeanor to loiter in a public place with the intent to commit certain controlled substances offenses.

See

  • California Health & Safety Code §§ 11530-11538
Suspension of Driving Privileges

A controlled substance conviction can result in suspension of driving privileges for up to 3 years if the use of a motor vehicle was used in or incidental to the offense. For each drug-related conviction that a person 13-20 years old may receive, their driving privileges are suspended for 1 year, but if the person does not yet have the privilege to drive, suspension will begin at the time the person becomes legally eligible to drive.

  • California Vehicle. Code § 1320
  • California Vehicle. Code § 13202.5
Drugged Driving

This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. 

Hemp

This state has an active hemp industry or has authorized research. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed, and other products. For more information see NORML’s Industrial Use section.

Legalization

This state has legalized marijuana for personal use.

Medical Marijuana

This state has medical marijuan laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana’s medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective. For more information see NORML’s Medical Marijuana section.

California Drugged Driving

In California, a person is guilty of DUI if he or she is (1) driving under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, OR (2) driving while addicted to a drug. Cal. Veh. Code §§ 23152(a),(c).

(1) Driving under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug. Id. § 23152(a).

In California, it is unlawful to drive under the influence of any drug. However, the state must show that the substance impaired the driver, not simply that the driver ingested the drug and then subsequently drove.

NOTE: there is no exception in section for lawful users of medical marijuana.

(2) Driving while you are addicted to a drug. Id. § 23152(c).

This law is based upon the theory that addicts who are experiencing withdraw symptoms are experiencing an altered state of consciousness which makes them unfit to drive. The courts have provided the following guidelines to determine if a person is an addict. The prosecution’s burden is to show;

(1) that the defendant has become ’emotionally dependent’ on the drug in the sense that he experiences a compulsive need to continue its use; (2) that he has developed a ‘tolerance’ to its effects and hence requires larger and more potent doses, and; (3) that he has become ‘physically dependent’ so as to suffer withdrawal symptoms if he is deprived of his dosage.”*

* People v. O’Neil, 62 Cal.2d 748, 754, (1965) — Habitual use alone is not sufficient to show addiction. The court has outlined the distinction between habitual user and addict in the following terms: The addict constantly takes the drug to avoid the pain of withdrawal illness; the habitual user takes it in anticipation of the euphoria it creates for him. One is compelled by fear to use the drug constantly, while the other is induced to such constant use by the prospect of pleasure.”

Implied Consent

  • Any person who drives a motor vehicle on the roads of California is deemed to have given his or her consent to chemical testing of his or her blood or urine for the purpose of determining the drug content of his or her blood, if lawfully arrested for either type of DUI. Id. § 23612(a)(1) (A).
  • Failure to submit to, or the failure to complete, the required chemical testing will result in a fine, mandatory imprisonment if the person is convicted of a DUI, and one year license suspension. If the driver is unconscious or dead, consent is assumed and the tests may be administered. Id.
  • The driver can choose between either a blood or urine test. However, the driver does not have the right to have an attorney present before stating whether he or she will submit to a test or tests, before deciding which test or tests to take, or during administration of the test or tests chosen, and that, in the event of refusal to submit to a test or tests, the refusal may be used against him or her in a court of law. Id. § 23612 (a)(2)(C).

Penalties

  • First offense – a period of 96 hours to 6 months in jail; fine of $390 to $1000; license suspension of 6 months; offender must complete a DUI program. Id. § 23536(a)-(d).
  • Second offense (w/i 10 years) – a period of 90 days to 1 year in jail; fine of $390 to $1000; license suspension for 2 years; offender must complete a DUIU program. Id. §§ 23540 (a)-(c).
  • Third offense (w/i 10 years) – a period of 120 days to 1 year in jail; fine of $390 to $1000; license suspension 3 years; ignition interlock device required; offender must complete DUI program. Id. §§ 23546(a)-(b).
  • Fourth and subsequent offense (w/i 10 years) – imprisonment for a period of 180 days to 1 year; fine of $390 to $1000; license suspension 4 years; ignition interlock device required; offender must complete DUI program. Id. §§ 23550 (a)-(b).

Other Penalties & Penalty Enhancer

  • If the driver causes bodily injury to a person while driving under the influence and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle the imposed penalty will be enhanced. Id. § 23153 (a) (1992).

Sobriety Checkpoints

In California, sobriety checkpoints have been upheld under both the state and federal Constitutions.

  • Protocol of sobriety checkpoint stops is to be determined not by standard of criminal investigative stops, but instead by standard applicable to investigative detentions and inspections conducted as part of regulatory scheme in furtherance of administrative purpose. Ingersoll v. Palmer, 743 P.2d 1299 (Cal. 1987).
  • California Supreme Court held that advance publicity is not necessary for a checkpoint to be valid. People v. Banks, 863 P.2d 769 (1993).

Case Law

People v. O’Neil, 62 Cal.2d 748 (1965) — Prosecution has the burden to show the defendant had developed an emotional or physical dependence based on the repeated use of a drug and that defendant required larger and larger doses to obtain the desired ‘high.’

California v. De Leon, 2004 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 11549 – It is possible with the assistance of an expert witness to show a driver was experiencing both withdrawal and that he was under the influence at the same time.

California Hemp Law

Year Passed: 2013
Summary: Senate Bill 566 reclassifies industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity; establishes regulations for licensed cultivation of the crop, but requires authorization from the federal government before such cultivation can move forward.
Statute: Cal. Agric. Code §§ 81000-81010 (2014)

California Medical Marijuana Law

QUALIFYING CONDITIONS

  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine
  • Persistent Muscle Spasms
  • Severe Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Any debilitating illness where the medical use of marijuana has been “deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician”

PATIENT POSSESSION LIMITS

No possession limits specified

HOME CULTIVATION

Yes, but no cultivation limits are specified.

STATE-LICENSED DISPENSARIES ALLOWED

Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, October 9, 2015 signed into law a legislative package of bills that seeks to provide regulations for California’s medical cannabis industry. The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act creates a new state agency within the Department of Consumer Affairs to develop rules and licensing procedures for authorized medical cannabis dispensaries. Dispensaries must be compliant with local guidelines prior to receiving a state license. State-licensed dispensaries will be permitted to operate on a ‘for profit’ basis. However, the new regulations will not override municipal moratoriums, nor will they prohibit the collection of local sales taxes on marijuana purchases in communities that presently impose them.

The new law takes effect on January 1, 2016. However, regulations under the new law are not expected until early 2017 and licensing is not anticipated to begin until early 2018.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATUTES

  • Cal. Health & Saf. Code, §11362.7 (2003)
  • Cal. Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11362.7 – 11362.83 (2003)
  • California Compassionate Use Act 1996, Cal. Health & Saf. Code, § 11362.5 (1996)

CAREGIVERS

Yes, primary caregiver is the individual, designated by a qualified patient or by a person with an identification card, who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that patient or person. The caregiver must be 18 years of age or older (unless the primary caregiver is the parent of a minor child who is a qualified patient or a person with an identification card).

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF REGISTERED PATIENTS

  • ~1,078,795

 

California Verified Marijuana Lawyers & Attornies

Robert M. Helfend

805-273-5611

Robert M. Helfend

Robert M. Helfend, Criminal Defense Attorney
45 S California St #9

Ventura, CA 93001

criminaldefenselawventura.com

Phone: 805-273-5611

Alison Bermant

530-550-0529

Alison Bermant

Law Office of Alison Bermant
PO Box 9975

Truckee, CA 96162

www.tahoetruckeelaw.com

Phone: 530-550-0529

Amy Chapman

707-636-3207

Amy Chapman

Law Office of Amy Chapman
703 2nd St, Suite 407

Santa Rosa, CA 95404

www.amychapmanlaw.com

Phone: 707-636-3207

Michael S Chernis

310-566-4388

Michael S Chernis

Chernis Law Group P.C.
2425 Olympic Blvd. Suite 4000-W

Santa Monica, CA 90404

www.chernislaw.com

Phone: 310-566-4388

Ryan P. Mullane

408-899-8420

Ryan Mullane

The Law Office of Ryan P. Mullane
PO BOX 2899

Santa Clara, CA95055

rpm.legal

Phone: 408-899-8420

Reform of Marijuana Laws

Suzanne Jillo

Member

 

Aaron Herzberg

949-386-8443

Aaron Herzberg

CalCann Holdings, Inc.
1526 Brookhollow Drive Suite 85

Santa Ana, CA 92705

www.calcannholdings.com

Phone: 949-386-8443

 

Erin Crane

415-412-8728

Erin Crane

 
819 Eddy Street

San Francisco, CA 94109

Phone: 415-412-8728

Reform of Marijuana Laws
Jennie Stepanian
Member

Brendan Hickey

415-494-8444

Defender Services
Pier 9 Suite 100
San Francisco, CA 94111
www.defender-services.com
Phone: 415-494-8444

Kerry L. Steigerwalt

619-272-4027

Kerry Lee Steigerwalt

 
3555 4th Avenue

San Diego, CA 92103

www.sandiegoinjurylawyer.com

Phone: 619-272-4027

S. Edward Wicker

760-735-6100

Edward Wicker

Wicker Law Group
11440 W. Bernardo Court Suite 300

San Diego, CA92127

ewickerlaw.com

Phone: 760-735-6100

Daniel R Perlman

213-513-8324

Daniel R Perlman

Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman
6464 W Sunset Blvd Suite 1030

Los Angeles, CA90028

www.danielperlmanlaw.com

Phone: 213-513-8324

Lisa H. Mattern

888-420-8932

Lisa H. Mattern

Mattern & Mendoza, LLP
6601 Center Drive Suite 500

Los Angeles, CA 90045

www.matternmendozalaw.com

Phone: 888-420-8932

Bruce Martin Margolin

310-652-0991

Bruce Martin Margolin

 
8749 Holloway Dr

Los Angeles, CA 90069

www.1800420laws.com

Phone: 310-652-0991

Ardalon Fakhimi

310-963-2417

Ardalon Fakhimi

California Criminal Defense Center
10940 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1600

Los Angeles, CA90024

www.CriminalDefenseCorp.com

Phone: 310-963-2417

Randy Sue Pollock

510-763-9967

Randy Sue Pollock

Law Offices of Randy Sue Pollock
286 Santa Clara Avenue

Oakland, CA 94610

www.rspollocklaw.com

Phone: 510-763-9967

Michael Edward Cindrich

619-262-2500

Michael Edward Cindrich

Law Offices of Michael E. Cindrich APC
750 B Street Suite 3300

San Diego, CA92101

www.michaelcindrich.com

Phone: 619-262-2500