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Marijuana Possession Penalties in California

California has two broad categories of drug possession crimes: simple possession and possession with the intent to sell. If you face either type of charge, your first call should be to a Riverside, CA drug offenses attorney to start working on your defense. 

Recreational Marijuana Decriminalized

In 2016, California voters decriminalized recreational marijuana under Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Under this law, adults 21 years old and older may buy, possess, and use up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and up to 8 grams of concentrated marijuana in their private homes or in a place licensed for marijuana use.

Under this law, and one of the first in the nation, a person is permitted to grow up to six plants within a private home, so long as the area is locked and not visible from a public place.

Smoking marijuana, however, remains illegal in the state while operating a vehicle, and smoking it anywhere smoking tobacco is prohibited, as well as in all public places.

Additionally, possession of marijuana on the grounds of a school, child daycare center, or youth center while children are present also remains illegal and can result in drug charges.

Possession with Intent to Sell

A prosecutor may charge a defendant with “possession for sale” or “purchase for the purpose of sale” if the prosecutor believes or has evidence to show that the person charged intended to engage in drug dealing.

In early 2019, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control determined that a licensed marijuana delivery operator can transport the marijuana to a residence of any person who has ordered the cannabis legally in this state.

However, if you are not authorized to legally transport cannabis products commercially, you may find yourself charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana if you have in your possession more than the legal limit for personal use.

For adult defendants, the possession of marijuana with the intent to sell charges without a license is usually a misdemeanor charge that is punishable upon conviction with up to six months in jail and/or a fine of as much as $500.

Possession of Marijuana – Less than 1 ounce

Possession of under an ounce of marijuana is legal for anyone 21 or over.

  1. If you are 18-20 and you are found in possession, the penalty is a $100 fine.
  2. If you are under 18, you may also be forced to attend mandatory drug counseling or community service in addition to the $100 civil fine.

Possession of Marijuana – Greater than 1 Ounce

Possession of greater than one ounce of marijuana that is allowed for personal use is a misdemeanor charge that can result in up to 6 months in jail, $500 in fines, and probation if you are convicted of the misdemeanor crime. However, you may be eligible for informal diversion and formal diversions that can save you from suffering the more serious penalties.

Contact a Riverside, CA Drug Offenses Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with possession of marijuana or possession with intent to sell, you can count on one of our lawyers at DeLimon Law to come to your defense in making sure you get the best outcome for your case. Contact us today and schedule a consultation.

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