Although the public perception of marijuana is changing around the country, leading eight states (and counting) to legalize it for recreational use, marijuana remains a controlled substance in the eyes of the government. This, despite the documented medical benefits from marijuana that have been demonstrated in recent years. Recently, California voters passed a ballot initiative to allow the recreational use of marijuana, but that does not mean that you are free from criminal charges for activities involving marijuana. The new laws do not completely deregulate the substance, and there are still criminal penalties that apply to certain activities, such as the unauthorized sale of marijuana or possessing a quantity of marijuana above the legal limit. At Hinely Law, our Colusa and Lake County marijuana lawyers have substantial experience and knowledge regarding these evolving laws. If you are facing a criminal matter involving marijuana in Colusa, Lake, Yuba, or Sutter County, our attorneys are standing by to assist you.Understanding California Marijuana Laws
On November 8, 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, partially legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. While Proposition 64 was meant to clarify the possession and cultivation of marijuana, it also is extremely confusing.
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act permits persons 21 years of age or older to legally possess, transport, purchase, and consume up to 28.5 grams of marijuana, and up to 4 grams of marijuana concentrates. The new law also permits adults, 21 years of age or older, to grow up to 6 marijuana plants per household, out of public view (verify your local ordinances).
California Health and Safety Code §11357(a) and (b) specifies that a person under 18, who possess marijuana or marijuana concentrate is guilty of an infraction. Penalties include drug counseling and community service.
If you are over 18 years of age and less than 21, and possess no more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or 4 grams of marijuana concentrate, California Health and Safety Code §11357(a) designates the offense as an infraction punishable by a fine and penalty assessments of up to $400.00. If you are over 18 and possess more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or more than 4 grams of marijuana concentrate, California Health and Safety Code §11357(b) designates the offense as a misdemeanor and the punishment consists of incarceration for up to 6 months and a fine and penalty assessments up to $2,000.00.
In regards to cultivation, California Health and Safety Code §11358 indicates that a person under 18 who cultivates marijuana is guilty of an infraction. If you are 18-21 years old and you cultivate 6 marijuana plants or less, the offense is punishable as an infraction. If you are over 18 and cultivate more than 6 plants, the offense becomes a misdemeanor.
However, if you are a person designated in California Health and Safety Code §11358(d) [2 prior cultivation convictions, 290 registrant, prior serious/violent felony conviction, the present offense involved a violation of various Fish and Game or Water Code sections, or other violations regarding hazardous waste, etc.] then growing more than 6 marijuana plants becomes a felony.
Possession of Marijuana for Sale in violation of California Health and Safety Code §11359 follows a similar layout as to cultivation. Employing or using a person 20 years of age or younger to sale or cultivate marijuana, if you are 21 or older, is a felony.
So although Proposition 64 did legalize marijuana in certain situations, California created different laws that are confusing and affect everyone differently depending on age, prior criminal history, nature of the offense, amount of marijuana, etc.
In 1996 California legalized marijuana for medical purposes.
California Health and Safety Code§11362.77(b) allows a qualified patient or caregiver to exceed 6 mature or 12 immature marijuana plants, and 8 ounces of marijuana, where a doctor determines that the lower quantity does not meet the patient’s needs.
Qualified patients and caregivers cannot be prosecuted solely for exceeding the limits set forth in California Health and Safety Code §11362.77(a), but law enforcement has now assumed the role of the treating physician and will arrest you for marijuana offenses under the theory that “even though your doctor has recommended ‘X’ amount, we believe there is no reasonable way you could consume that and therefore you are cultivating, possessing, or transporting marijuana for the purpose of sales.”
Hire an Experienced Colusa and Lake County Lawyer Familiar with the Cannabis Industry
The attorneys at Hinely Law are extremely familiar with cannabis as it relates to recreational use and to those who have committed themselves to using a medicine that is natural and has been in existence since 1839 (introduced into Western Medicine)
The Colusa and Lake County marijuana attorneys at Hinely Law have successfully represented persons who were charged with marijuana offenses in Colusa, Lake, Sutter, and Yuba County stemming from the possession of just a few ounces of marijuana, up to persons cultivating in excess of 3000 plants, as well as persons accused of manufacturing concentrated cannabis. Our attorneys utilize only the best cannabis experts in the industry to ensure your rights are not ignored. Serving people throughout Colusa and Lake Counties and beyond, our marijuana attorneys provide a free consultation so that you can learn more about how we may be able to help you. Contact us online or in Colusa at 530-458-2950 or in Lakeport at 707-995-7006 to set up your appointment. At Hinely Law, we also provide criminal defense attorneys, DUI attorney, and family law attorneys.