California Marijuana Laws

Marijuana is legal for any adult use in California. The state has the oldest medical marijuana system in the country, and residents can now legally possess, use and cultivate cannabis for recreational purposes.

California Marijuana Attorneys

The following California lawyers are actively involved in the practice of cannabis law:

California_William-S-Kroger
California_The-H&M-Law-Firm-PC

LAW BREAKDOWN

Marijuana is legal for any adult use in California. The state has the oldest medical marijuana system in the country, and residents can now legally possess, use and cultivate cannabis for recreational purposes.

Medical Marijuana

California was the first state to permit medical cannabis, in 1996, but the law’s limits remain unclear. Patients with a wide array of health problems are allowed to buy marijuana after obtaining a doctor’s recommendation. There are few other rules under state law, and local ordinances vary widely.

Possession

Possession and use of cannabis became legal for adults in California when residents approved Proposition 64 (the Adult Use of Marijuana Act). Residents can now legally possess one ounce of flower or eight grams of marijuana concentrates without penalty. Possession of quanities exceeding these limits is a misdemeanor, subject to up to six months in jail and $500 in fines.

It is likewise a misdemeanor to possess the above quanities of cannabis while on school grounds, punishable by up to ten days in jail and $500 in fines. Possession by someone under age 18 is also a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 10 days at a youth detention center and a $250 fine.

It is a misdemeanor when it is deemed that marijuana is possessed with the intent to supply it. The maximum penalty is six months imprisonment and a $500 fine.

Sale and Delivery

Unlicensed sale of any amount of cannabis is a misdemeanor in California, subject to up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. Gifts – when nothing else of value changes hands – of no more than 28.5 grams, however, come with nothing more than a $100 fine.

Giving any amount of cannabis to a minor between the ages of 14 and 17 is a felony when the giver is 18 or older and is punishable by between three and five years in prison. If the child is younger than 14, the penalty is three to seven years in prison.

Cultivation

It is legal to cultivate up to six plants at home for recreational use in California. Any more than that is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and $500 in fines. This limit does not apply to medical marijuana patients.

Hash and Concentrates

It is legal to possess up to eight grams of hashish, hash oil, or other cannabis concentrates. Possession of more than eight grams is a misdeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

Unauthorized manufacture carries a penalty of between 16 months and three years in prison, plus a $500 fine. Use of chemicals to manufacture concentrates can be punished by between three and seven years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Paraphernalia

Marijuana paraphernalia includes any items used in the cultivation, harvesting, processing, testing, analysis, storage or use of marijuana.  Possession of marijuana paraphernalia is legal in California, but it is a crime to sell it, deliver it, possess it with intent to sell it, or manufacture it with intent. Any such offense is a misdemeanor and is punishable by at least 15 days in jail and as many as six months, plus a $500 fine.

Any paraphernalia offense involving a minor at least three year younger than the offender is also a misdemeanor, but the maximum penalty increases to one year in jail and $1,000.

Miscellaneous

It is a felony, punishable by between three and seven years in prison, to use a minor in the illegal sale or transport of marijuana. Inducing a minor to use the drug is also a felony punishable by three to seven years in prison.

An additional fine of up to $150 is levied against offenders who violate the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. This is the law that classifies and bans certain categories of legally controlled drugs.

Just as it is illegal to smoke cannabis in public, it is a misdemeanor to loiter in a public place with intent to commit certain violations of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Violations of that law can be punished by suspension of driving privileges, among other penalties.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

California became the first state in the US to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana when the law was approved by ballot initiative on Nov. 6, 1996 by 56% of voters. The new law removes the criminal penalties for the use, possession and cultivation of cannabis for patients who possess a “written or oral recommendation” from a physician.

Qualifying conditions– Anorexia, Arthritis, Cachexia, Cancer, Chronic Pain, HIV/AIDS, Glaucoma, Migraine, Persistent Muscle Spasms, Severe Nausea, Seizures, and any other debilitating illness where the medicinal use of marijuana was been “deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician”

Patient possession limits –No possession limits specified

Home cultivation – Yes, but no cultivation limits are specified

State-licensed dispensaries – No, but some cities locally regulate dispensaries

Caregivers – Yes – a primary caregiver is an individual who has consistently assumed responsibility for the health, housing or safety of a qualified patient. Unless the caregiver is the parent of a qualified patient, caregivers must be 18 years of age or older.

Reciprocity – No

Contact information – For more information on California’s medical marijuana law, contact:

California NORML
2261 Market Street #278A
San Francisco, CA 94144
(415) 563-5858
http://www.canorml.org/

For detailed information on county or municipal medical marijuana guidelines, please visit:
http://www.canorml.org/medical-marijuana/local-growing-limits-in-California

For a list of California doctors who recommend medical cannabis, please visit:
http://listings.canorml.org/medical-marijuana-doctors-in-California/list.lasso

For a list of California medical cannabis providers, please visit:
http://canorml.org/medical-marijuana/California-collectives-and-dispensaries-guide

PENALTIES

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine

Possession

Personal Use

Up to 1 oz No penalty None $ 0
28.5 grams or less, over 18 years, and occurred on school grounds Misdemeanor 10 days $ 500
28.5 grams or less, under 18 years Misdemeanor 10 days* $ 250
More than 28.5 grams Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500

With Intent to Distribute

Any amount Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500
*Detention center

Sale or Delivery

Any amount Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500
Gift of 28.5 grams or less No penalty N/A $ 100
Over 18 years to an individual 14-17 years Felony 3 – 5 years N/A
Over 18 years to an individual under 14 years Felony 3 – 7 years N/A

Cultivation

Up to 6 plants No penalty None $ 0
6 plants or more Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500

Hash & Concentrates

Up to 8 g No penalty None $ 0
8 g or more Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500
Unauthorized manufacture N/A 16 months – 3 years $ 500
Chemical manufacture N/A 3 – 7 years $ 50,000

Paraphernalia

Sale, delivery, possession with intent, and manufacture with intent Misdemeanor 15 days – 6 months $ 500
Involving a minor at least 3 years junior Misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000

Forfeiture

Vehicles and other property may be seized for controlled substance violations.

Miscellaneous

Using a minor in the unlawful sale or transport of marijuana is a Felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment. Inducing a minor to use marijuana is also a Felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment.
Any violation of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act results in a fine up to $150.
A person who participates in the illegal marketing of marijuana is liable for civil damages.
It is a Misdemeanor to loiter in a public place with the intent to commit certain controlled substances offenses.
A controlled substance conviction can result in suspension of driving privileges.