Possession of Marijuana

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Modesto Marijuana Attorney

California Weed Possession Lawyer

While the national perspective on marijuana appears to be gradually changing, it is still considered a controlled substance in California. Unless you have a prescription for marijuana, you can be fined or even arrested and criminally charged if you are found in possession of it. In these circumstances, however, it may be still possible to assert your rights and avoid penalties.

If you have been charged with marijuana possession, our firm is ready to hear from you. The Law Offices of Mark Girdner was founded by a former deputy district attorney who knows how the state processes, tries, and convicts drug suspects. Time and time again, our skilled and insightful Modesto drug crime lawyer has shielded clients from maximum penalties and ensured that their voice was heard before our justice system.

Do not wait to start exploring your defense options. Call (209) 326-1533 today.

Penalties for Marijuana Possession

California Health and Safety Code 11357 HS describes the offense of marijuana possession. This is generally known as "simple possession," and assumes that the accused had the marijuana for their own personal use.

Maximum penalties for simple marijuana possession include:

  • For 28.5 g or less - $100 in fines
  • For more than 28.5 g - $500 in fines, 6 months in jail
  • For 28.5 g or less (under 18) - $250 in fines, 10 days in jail
  • For 28.5 g or less (under 18, school grounds) - $500 in fines, 10 days in jail

Additionally, California Health and Safety Code 11359 HS describes "possession with intent to sell," which is a considered a much more serious crime and can result in up to three years in prison. If you have been charged with either of these crimes, it is advised you speak to defense counsel immediately. Even minor convictions go on your record and further complicate your life for years to come.

Understanding California Proposition 64

November 8th was a landmark day in our state’s history for those who have strongly advocated for the recreational use of marijuana. California residents approved Proposition 64 by a margin of 56%-44%, ending the state’s prohibition on the substance. This prompted many people to celebrate, but those who did not read the bill may have found themselves in trouble nonetheless. This is because Prop 64 legalized marijuana, but under heavy restriction. Some things are not yet legal under this new law, while other things will remain illegal still. Let’s take a closer look at what is and is not legal under Prop 64.

What Is Legal

  • Adults over the age of 21 may now possess up to an ounce of marijuana or eight grams of concentrated cannabis for personal use.
  • Those over 21 may choose to cultivate up to six marijuana plants per residence, so long as these plants are kept in a locked space and out of public view at all times.
  • Those who have medical marijuana recommendations from their doctors may still continue to purchase at medical collectives and dispensaries.
  • Medical marijuana patients are not bound by the same restrictions, and may continue to cultivate as many plants as they need in order to meet their doctor’s recommended treatment.
  • Private property owners may forbid the possession or use of marijuana on their premises.
  • Employers may forbid their employees from using marijuana.

What is Not Yet Legal

  • Retail stores may not sell marijuana to those without a permit until January 1, 2018. They may continue to sell to those with medical marijuana recommendations until this time.
  • Purchasing marijuana without a medical recommendation remains illegal in the state.
  • Those who wish to sell marijuana under the new law must obtain a license from the state, including paying all licensing fees from the state as well as local municipalities.

What is Not Legal

  • Those under the age of 21 may not purchase, consume, cultivate, or sell marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia under any circumstances.
  • It is forbidden to drive while intoxicated by marijuana, and you could be charged with a DUI. It is also forbidden to possess an “open container” of marijuana while driving, or consume marijuana while riding as a passenger in a car, boat, train, or plane.
  • It is illegal to sell marijuana in any form without a license from the state.
  • You are not allowed to consume marijuana in a public place, unless the premises has received a permit from the state (sort of like alcohol laws with bars). These permits will not begin being distributed until January 1, 2018.
  • Consuming marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, day care, or youth center while children are present is strictly forbidden, unless you are consuming inside a private residence.
  • Marijuana growers are forbidden from advertising to children, meaning that no cartoon characters or other devices may be used to advertise for marijuana products. Companies are also forbidden from using roadside billboards to advertise.
  • Municipalities are not allowed to make any law infringing on your right to consume marijuana, so long as you adhere to these laws.

Pleading guilty may not be your only option. Use our online form to request a free consultation with Attorney Mark Girdner today.

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