Marijuana Charges in California

While California was one of the first states to relax its marijuana laws to allow for medicinal use, the state still has aggressive laws that penalize personal or recreational pot use. It is important that people not adopt a lax attitude toward using or possessing marijuana, assuming they will not be punished.

If you are caught in possession of weed, you could face serious penalties, ranging from expensive fines to time in jail to the loss of your license if a vehicle was involved. If you are caught you need aggressive legal representation to fight the charges and negotiate the best possible outcome, to minimize the impact of the penalties.

Hansen & Miller Law Firm provides staunch defense representation to individuals throughout California who are charged with marijuana possession or possession with intent to sell.

Pot in California: What You Need to Know

Here are a few things you need to know about the marijuana laws in California:

  • Unless you are a licensed distributor of medical marijuana (such as a medical marijuana co-op), have a medical marijuana card or are a primary caregiver of someone legally using medical marijuana, you cannot possess, plant, cultivate, harvest, dry or distribute marijuana.
  • Just a first offense of cultivating marijuana illegally can land you in county jail for up to one year or in local prison from 16 months to three years.
  • You will likely be charged with possession with intent to sell if you are caught with large quantities of pot, packaging or baggies, quantities that have been divided up, scales, large amounts of cash or other paraphernalia common to distributing marijuana.
  • Possession with intent to sell is a felony charge with a lengthy prison sentence being one possible outcome.
  • It is also unlawful to give marijuana to someone else, even if it is not in exchange for money. Distribution charges carry heavy sentencing.
  • If you move marijuana in large quantities, you could be charged with transportation of marijuana or, depending on the circumstances, charged in federal court with commercial narcotics trafficking.
  • Selling marijuana to a minor or simply providing it to a minor can land you in jail for as much as seven years on a first offense.
  • You must have a doctor's script (commonly called a recommendation) to get a medical marijuana card. Only under these circumstances can you use medical marijuana.

For more information about the marijuana laws in California, please contact our law offices today at 707-387-0966.