California Uniformed Controlled Substances Act includes cannabis as a Schedule 1 Hallucinogenic Substance. The state passed Proposition 64, which legalizes cannabis for personal consumption.
California has also established a medical cannabis program. Hemp, which is a form Cannabis sativa, has been legalized in California.
Possessing Cannabis in California
Adults 21 years old and older can grow up six cannabis plants and have up to one ounce (or eight grams) of dried cannabis. Growers of cannabis can keep all the harvest.
California also licensed commercial production and sale of cannabis.
Possession of cannabis is legal. However, some situations are misdemeanor crimes.
- Possession of more that 28.5 grams can result in up to 6 months imprisonment and/or a $500 fine.
- A person 18 years or older may be arrested for possession of less than 28.5 grams on school grounds. This could result in up to 10 days in prison and/or a $500 fine.
- A fine of up $250 for the first offense and $500 thereafter can be imposed on anyone under 18 years. They can also be detained for not more than 10 days.
Laws of selling Cannabis in California
Adults must be licensed to legally sell cannabis. A misdemeanor offense is possession of more that one ounce or eight grams of cannabis. A $500 fine and six months imprisonment are possible for anyone found guilty of “possession with intent.
It is a misdemeanor offense if money is exchanged for cannabis by someone who isn’t licensed. A $500 fine and up to six months imprisonment are possible. You can gift up to one ounce of cannabis without violating the law.
The consequences of cannabis transactions involving minors can be severe. Anyone 18 years old or older can deliver or attempt to deliver cannabis. This is a felony that can lead to up to seven years imprisonment.
- Delivery to anyone 14-17 years old is for 3-5 years in prison
- Delivery to someone younger than 14 years old is 3-7 year imprisonment
- Selling to anyone under 18 years old is punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment
- Selling cannabis to someone younger than 18 years old or asking for their assistance is a violation that can land you 3-7 years in prison.
Selling cannabis is not the only thing that someone who has been convicted of it must be concerned about. Participation in illegal marketing of cannabis can result in civil damages.
Laws for Growing and Manufacturing Cannabis in California
Proposition 64 allows adults aged 21 or older to grow up six plants and keep the entire harvest. The state’s medical cannabis program does not have a limit on the amount of cannabis they can grow. However, it is expected that the program will be updated in early 2018.
Adults can also have up to eight grams of cannabis concentrated. These products are subject to strict regulations.
Concentrated cannabis obtained by chemical extraction includes butane. This is known as “manufacture through means of chemical synthesis. A controlled substance.” It can be punished with a maximum $50,000 fine and either 3, or 7 years imprisonment.
The term “unauthorized processing cannabis” refers to cannabis that has been produced using a process other then chemical syntheses.
The Usage of Cannabis in California
Paraphernalia is legal equipment that can be used to consume cannabis. It is legal to possess cannabis paraphernalia. It is illegal to sell, deliver or manufacture these items. This misdemeanor can land you in prison for up to 180 days and/or a $500 fine.
Paraphernalia delivered by someone under 18 to someone younger than that will result in a maximum of one year imprisonment and/or a $1000 fine.
You must keep your cannabis use private.
Breaking Cannabis laws in California
California has legalized cannabis use for personal use. However, many cannabis offenses are now decriminalized in California. If they are minor or first-time offenders, they may not be sent to prison. Illegal cannabis use is generally treated the same as minor traffic violations.
You may be eligible to ‘deferred entry in judgment’ if you are found guilty of certain offences.
These are the offenses:
- Possession of personal property for personal use beyond the limit
- Consuming or being under the influence cannabis
- Intention to be present in a room where cannabis violations have occurred
- Exceeding the personal limit for cannabis cultivation
After certain conditions are satisfied, a deferred entry in judgment is granted. Contrary to diversion, if these requirements are not met the defendant will immediately face the required jail time or fines. Participation in the program requires that they plead guilty. After they have completed the required tasks, the case will be dismissed.
You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for deferred entry.
- No convictions for controlled substance violations in the past
- There should be no violence in connection with the offense
- It has not been used narcotics, or any other restricted drug
- Never had probation or parole revoked
- Have not been convicted of a felony within the past five years
- In the past five years, have not made another deferred entrance
Many cannabis offenses can be put on probation. If the court feels it will be beneficial to the offender, probation may include participation in educational and treatment-based programs. For those who have been convicted of a felony involving a controlled substance, probation is not often available. All violations of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act can result in a $150 fine, along with any other fines.
California can seize vehicles and property that are involved in controlled substance violations. Property that is convicted of illegally growing, manufacturing or selling cannabis becomes the state’s property.
Although it can be difficult to retrieve property forfeited, it is possible. If property taken by law enforcement is not used as evidence or the seizing agency fails within 15 days to refer the case before the Attorney General, the property must be returned.
The Attorney General may pursue a forfeiture proceeding against the owner of the property. In such cases, the owner has 30 days to respond after publication of notice or in some cases actual notice. The court has the option to either return the property or have it taken to court to be decided by a jury.
Driving privileges can be suspended up to three years for anyone convicted of a controlled drug offense that affects a motor vehicle. It is one year if the person convicted was between 13 and 20 years old. The suspension starts at the time they receive a license.