California has been a hippie haven ever since 1967’s “Summer of Love”. The Haight-Ashbury neighborhood has become a time capsule of sorts. Think rose colored glasses, tie dyes, flowing hair, free thinking, and a haze of marijuana smoke. Before you decide to buy, sell, or possess marijuana for any purpose in The Golden State you need to know the laws.
While California carries on the tradition of progressive thinking and carefree lifestyles, marijuana laws still apply, even for medicinal purposes. California’s Compassionate Use Act of 1996 was created to ensure that seriously ill patients, suffering from cancer, chronic pain, AIDS, and other illnesses, have access to medical marijuana. If you suffer from any qualifying illnesses, make sure you talk with your licensed physician or a medical cannabis specialist. Don’t try to score some marijuana yourself, you could get a fine.
How About a Little Marijuana?
Although California is more lax than other states, you can still face penalties for possessing marijuana, even a smaller amount. If you possess 28.5 grams ( approximately 1 ounce) or less of marijuana for your own personal use, you could face a fine of $100.
In California, marijuana has been decriminalized a bit, which means that if you are a first time offender of possessing a small amount of marijuana, it will most likely be treated like an infraction (or traffic violation). While you might be in the clear after your first offense, don’t push your luck. You can look at it as a one time “pass”, but subsequent violations could land you major fines and imprisonment.
Penalties & Jail Time
Penalties increase (including jail time) if you possess marijuana on school grounds, deliver, cultivate or intend to sell marijuana, including hash & cannabis concentrates. If you’re intending to sell on school grounds, that’s a big “NO” anyway, but you’ve been warned.
If you sell or deliver any amount you’ll get charged with a felony and do 2-4 years. Get a minor involved, either selling, distributing, or using, you are looking at 3-7 years of imprisonment.
Even a little “gift” you receive from a friend at a party could result in a fine. If you get caught with any paraphernalia, you could face face a misdemeanor. Our advice? Stay out of public eye if you’re partaking, because “loitering in a public space” could get you charged with a misdemeanor. Even if you have no intent to sell or distribute, it will be difficult to prove that if you’re caught.
MMS Law in California
When someone is convicted of a punishable offense by the Mandatory Minimum Sentence (MMS), the judge has no choice but to sentence the defendant (yes, even the friendly and peaceful pot smokers) to the MMS. Individuals who serve a MMS are not eligible for parole.
If you are planning on traveling to California, stick to the sightseeing and visiting a few old hippies with good stories. Unless you are a card carrying member, who can legally find pain relief with marijuana, don’t take the gamble on a fine; save your money for a different kind of memento.
Hiring a California Lawyer
On the off chance that you got in California, you will certainly require a Lawyer. You additionally need to realize that what may be considered as a wrongdoing in your state, could be viewed as a crime in another. Accordingly, you have to instruct yourself on the laws in diverse states. To discover a Lawyer in California, look at our legal counselor catalog.