You’ve probably heard that, as of November 9 of last year, recreational marijuana is now legal in California. And yet you cannot yet go buy it in stores, and no dispensaries are legally allowed to sell it to you if you do not have a medical prescription. On top of that, marijuana remains a Schedule I Controlled Substance under federal law, which means you can be criminally charged under federal law. Confused? Read on for the current California marijuana law for growing and carrying marijuana as of 2017.
Growing/Cultivating Marijuana Legally in California
As of now, any person 18 years or over is legally allowed to cultivate their own marijuana plants in California, but only up to six cannabis plants per person. If you are between the ages of 18 and 20 and cultivates, plants, harvests, or dries over six living cannabis plants, then you will be subject to up to a $100. Those 21 and over are subject to a $500 fine.
You cannot cultivate marijuana in a public place accessible to or visible by the public.
Possessing Marijuana Legally in California
Aside from cultivating, adults are now legally allowed to possess marijuana without a prescription in California, but are limited to 28.5 grams of marijuana flowers (about an ounce) or up to 8 grams of “concentrated marijuana” such as hash oil. Those who possess more than that amount are subject to fines.
The fact that you cannot legally purchase marijuana without a medical prescription at this point makes obtaining it complicated, but you are able to cultivate your own per the guidelines above, or you may receive it as a gift from another person who possesses marijuana. California is required to set guidelines for recreational marijuana dispensaries by 2018 which will make possession simpler for most people.
What Remains Illegal With Respect to Marijuana in California
Even if you legally possess marijuana in California, you are still subject to civil and/or criminal penalties if you engage in any of the following activities:
- Use marijuana in public places
- Supply marijuana to a minor
- Operate a motor vehicle while impaired by marijuana
- Cultivate marijuana in a public or accessible place
- Possess marijuana on school grounds, day care center, or youth area where children are present
As stated above, marijuana remains illegal under federal law and you can be subject to federal criminal penalties for possession of marijuana. That said, California state and local law enforcement does not enforce federal law and thus such an arrest would have to come at the hands of a federal agency such as the DEA or FBI.
Aggressive Defense in Your California Marijuana Case
If you have been placed under arrest or are under investigation for marijuana or other narcotics in California, work with criminal defense attorneys who will aggressively fight to defend your rights. Contact the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates, PLC today to begin mounting your best defense now.