Marijuana Laws of California

MARIJUANA CRIMES

Vehicle Code Section 23152(e) continues to make it a crime in California to drive under the influence of marijuana [DUI Drugs – MJ].

But cannabis cruising can be ok as you drive fine, San Diego DUI lawyers remind.

It is lawful to drive after smoking marijuana as long as you drive with the caution characteristic of a sober person, not under the influence of marijuana.

It is scientifically difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a person drove while under the influence of marijuana.

After the election, possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana is now legal.

Here’s the breakdown of marijuana “crimes” specified in California Health and Safety Code sections.

 

H & S 11357(b)

Less than 28.5 grams of marijuana is legal per California Health & Safety Code 11362.1(a)(1).

Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is therefore no longer a crime.

H & S 11357(c)

More than 28.5 grams of marijuana remains a misdemeanor punishable up to six months in jail, now per H & S 11357(b)(2).

 

H & S 11357(a)

Less than 8 grams of concentrated cannabis is legal under H & S 11362.1(a)(2).

Unlawful possession of more than 4 grams of concentrated cannabis is a misdemeanor under H & S 11357(b)(2).

H & S 11358

Less than 7 plants is legal under H & S 11362.1(a)(3), but H & S 11362.2/H & S 11362.4 may impose more limitations that could make such possession an infraction.

Over 6 plants is a misdemeanor, unless exceptions apply. (H & S 11358(c))

Exceptions include:  prior convictions of H & S 11358(c), 290(c) registrant, super-strike, violations of specific Fish and Game Code, Water Code, Penal Code, or abusing public lands, meaning a 16-2-3 county jail felony.

This is a priorable offense. Statute says H & S 11358(c) so pre-Prop 64 H & S 11358s do not count. Two or more H & S 11358(c) convictions may be 16-2-3 county jail felony.

H & S 11362.5 [Medical Marijuana]

Medical marijuana patients may possess up to 1/2 pound (8 ounces) of marijuana and cultivate up to 6 mature or 12 immature plants of marijuana.

H & S 11359

Possession for sale is now a misdemeanor, unless exceptions apply. (H & S 11359(b))

Exceptions include:  290(c) registrant, super-strike, sales to person under 18, or employing people under 21, meaning a 16-2-3 county jail felony.

This is a priorable offense. Statute specifically says H & S 11359(b) so pre-Prop 64 H & S 11359s do not count. Two or more H & S 11359(b) convictions means a possible 16-2-3 county jail felony.

H & S 11360

Transportation of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana or less than 8 grams of concentrated cannabis is legal under H & S 11362.(a)(1) or (a)(2).

Unlawful transportation for sales, importation, sales, furnishing, administering, giving away is a misdemeanor, with exceptions. (H & S 11360(a)(2))

Exceptions include:  290(c) registrant, super-strike, two or more prior convictions, or sales to someone under 18 years of age, or importing or transporting across state lines of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or more than 4 grams of concentrated cannabis, meaning a 2-3-4 county jail felony.

This is a priorable offense. Statute states H & S 11360(a)(2) so pre-Prop 64 H & S 11360’s do not count. 3 or more H & S 11360(a)(2) convictions means a possible 2-3-4 county jail felony.

 

PRIOR CONVICTION OF RELATED MARIJUANA OFFENSES

Dismissals

  • H & S 11357(a) of less than 8 grams of concentrated cannabis (Legal under H & S 11361.1(a)(2))
  • H & S 11357(b) of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana (Legal under H & S 11361.2(a)(1))
  • H & S 11358 of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana (Legal under H & S 11362.1(a)(1))
  • H & S 11360 of transportation of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana and less than 8 grams (Legal under H & S 11362.1(a)(1) or (a)(2).)

Reductions to infraction

  • H & S 11358 of less than 7 plants for personal use at home but (1) visible to the public, or (2) not in locked space. (H & S 11362.2(a), H & S 11362.4(e))
  • H & S 11358 of more than 7 plants by someone under 18 (H & S 11358(a)/H & S 11357(b)(1))
  • H & S 11358 of more than 7 plants by someone over 18 but under 21 (H & S 11358(b))
  • Using marijuana in public (H & S 11362.3(a)(1))
  • Open container of marijuana in vehicle (H & S 11362.3(a)(4))
  • Using marijuana while operating a vehicle (H & S 11362.3(a)(7))
  • Using marijuana while a passenger (H & S 11362.3(a)(8))

Reductions to misdemeanor

  • H & S 11358 of more than 6 plants by an adult, with exceptions (misdemeanor under H & S 11358(c))
  • H & S 11359 (misdemeanor under H & S 11359)
  • H & S 11360 for giving away more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or more than 8 grams of concentrated cannabis (misdemeanor under H & S 11360(a)(2))
  • H & S 11360 for transport for sales or sales (misdemeanor under H & S 11360(a)(2).)

No reductions or dismissals

  • H & S 11357(c) of possession of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana (Remains a misdemeanor under H & S 11357(b)(2))
  • H & S 11357(a) of more than 8 grams of concentrated cannabis (From 1-year to 6-month misdemeanor under H & S 11357(b)(2))
  • H & S 11366 maintaining a place
  • 5 allowing manufacturing or storing of controlled substances
  • 6 making BHO/honey oil/hash oil (also illegal under H & S 11362.3(a)(6).)

Please note: These H & S laws apply to adults 21 years or older. If under the age of 18 or between 18 and 21, H & S laws may be different.  These California H & S laws further assume children are not present, and marijuana is not on school grounds or at child care locations, San Diego DUI attorneys point out.

Marijuana – DUI prosecution continues to rise in San Diego County and throughout California, so folks who use marijuana must be very careful to drive well.