California, much like many other states, has legalized recreational and medicinal marijuana use. However, that does not mean that a person cannot be arrested for crimes related to the sale, distribution, and even personal use of the drug. Understanding pertinent marijuana laws is a must for citizens to remain in compliance. A better understanding also allows you to identify when your rights have been violated.
When it comes to possession, up to 1 oz is considered personal use and is not penalized in any way. Having more than 28.5 grams on your person is a misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $500. No matter the amount, the person in possession must be at least 18 years of age. If not, they are subject to up to ten days’ placement in a juvenile detention center and a fine of no more than $250. It is also illegal to have marijuana on school grounds, no matter your age or the amount you are carrying.
When it comes to growing marijuana, you are permitted up to six plants at a time. If it is discovered you have six plants or more on your property, you could be subject to six months in jail and a $500 fine. Additionally, it is not permissible to sell or deliver marijuana in any amount, with the sale and distribution punished even more harshly when it involves someone under 17. In this case, the crime is a felony and a prison term is possible.
While it is legal to possess marijuana paraphernalia in the state, it is not legal to sell, deliver, or possess with intent to distribute. This is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to a year in jail depending on the circumstances, while fines range from $30 to $1,000. Paraphernalia includes things like pipes, bongs, and grinders.