We all know that California voters approved Proposition 64 in 2016, which made it legal within the state of California to possess limited amounts of marijuana for personal use (although it should be kept in mind that possession of marijuana remains illegal under federal law). But, despite the legalization of marijuana under state law, there has been a rise in the amount of so-called “synthetic marijuana” use in California, and has contributed to deaths and illnesses across the country and in Los Angeles.
It would be a mistake to believe that, because marijuana is legal under California law, that products marketed as “synthetic marijuana” are also legal. Not are only synthetic marijuana products such as “spice” highly dangerous, many such products are indeed illegal in California.
California Law on Synthetic Marijuana
State and local lawmakers in California have been keeping their eyes on the rise of synthetic marijuana, and have created and updated existing law to regulate such products, which can bring steep criminal penalties and fines.
Under California’s Health and Safety Code, “Every person who sells, dispenses, distributes, furnishes, administers, or gives, or offers to sell, dispense, distribute, furnish, administer, or give, or possesses for sale any synthetic cannabinoid compound, or any synthetic cannabinoid derivative” is guilty of a misdemeanor crime. The sentence for a first violation of this law can include up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
In addition, possession of “any synthetic cannabinoid compound, or any synthetic cannabinoid derivative” can mean a criminal fine for a first offense and up to six months in jail and a fine for a second offense.
If You Have Been Arrested For Synthetic Marijuana in California
There can be defenses and other strategies available to you if you have indeed been arrested or are under investigation for synthetic marijuana.
First off, what is and is not considered an illegal synthetic marijuana product will depend on the chemical composition of the product, as only certain types of products are currently illegal under state law. Furthermore, you may have options if you were unaware of the presence of the illegal product, or if you were illegally entrapped into violating the law.
In addition, you can work with your attorney to reach an agreement for a reduced penalty or charge, and, in some cases, enter an alternative drug treatment program to avoid criminal penalties.
Fighting For Your Best Outcome in Your CA Synthetic Marijuana Case
If you have been placed under arrest in California, it is important to work with criminal defense attorneys who will fight for your rights. At the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates, PLC, our experienced criminal defense attorneys will work with you from the very start to reach a positive outcome: a dropped investigation, a dismissal of charges, a not guilty verdict, or minimal criminal penalties. Contact the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates, PLC today to get your best defense now.