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Marijuana Charges


Marijuana Laws Post Proposition 64

Effective November 9, 2016, marijuana charges and punishments in California have drastically changed thanks to the passage of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.  The new law permits adults 21 years of age and older to legally possess, transport, purchase, consume, or share up to one ounce (≤ 28.5g) of marijuana, and up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrates (hash).  In addition, adults may grow up to 6 marijuana plants per household out of public view.  Those adults may also store any product of their harvest provided it is properly stored away.

If you have been arrested on a marijuana charge, it is essential that you contact a knowledgeable attorney right away to review your case and begin your defense.

Before and After Prop 64

Here are some of the differences between the maximum penalties of the old and new laws.  All of these examples assume that the person is 21 years or older and not in the presence of children, a school zone, a day care center, etc.

  Offense Old Law New Law
  Possession of up to 1 ounce of Marijuana $100 ticket Legal
  Possession of up to 8g of concentrate 1 Year misdemeanor Legal
  Transportation of up to 1oz or 8g $100 misdemeanor Legal
  Giving away up to 1oz or 8g $100 misdemeanor Legal
  Growing 1 plant at home Felony Legal
  Growing up to 6 plants at home Felony Legal
  Keeping processed harvest bud at home Felony Legal
  Growing over 6 plants Felony 6 months
  Possess over 1oz of marijuana 6 months 6 months
  Possess over 8g of concentrate 1 year misdemeanor 6 months
  Transport or give away over 1oz Felony 6 months
  Selling without a license Felony 6 months
  Possession with intent to sell Felony 6 months

Consumption in public

Prop 64 does not authorize the use or consumption of marijuana in public place or anywhere else where cigarette smoking is banned.  Smoking or consumption while driving or as a passenger in a vehicle is still prohibited.  Think of it this way:  if you can’t drink alcohol there or smoke a cigarette there, you can’t use marijuana there.

Resentencing of Prior Marijuana Convictions

It’s retroactive!  People previously convicted of qualifying marijuana offenses are eligible to have their sentences reduced, dismissed, or their old convictions re-designated.

Eligible for Dismissal

Possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana

Possession of less than 8 grams of concentrate

Growing for personal use under 1 ounce

Transportation of less than 1 ounce of marijuana

Transportation of less than 8 grams of concentrate

Eligible for Reduction to an Infraction

Cultivation of 6 or less plants at home but in public view or not locked

Using marijuana in public

Open container of marijuana in a vehicle

Using marijuana while driving a vehicle

Using marijuana while a passenger in a vehicle

Eligible for Reduction to a Misdemeanor

Cultivation of more than 6 plants

Possession of marijuana with the intent to sell

Sales or transportation of marijuana

Not Eligible for Reduction or Dismissal

Possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana (still a misdemeanor)

Possession of more than 8 grams of concentrate (still a misdemeanor)

Maintaining a place for the sales or use of controlled substances

Maintaining a place for the manufacturing or storing of controlled substances

Making butane or honey oil hash

If you would like to find out if you are eligible to have your old marijuana charges reduced or dismissed, contact attorney Amy Chapman.

Medical Marijuana Guidelines

**Note that all of the medical marijuana laws still apply.  Medical marijuana patients may still possess and grow over the new limits if they are in compliance with state and local laws.

California voters passed Proposition 215 in 1996, making it legal for qualified patients and primary caregivers to possess and grow marijuana. In 2004, SB 420 went into effect, establishing statewide guidelines for how much medical marijuana could be possessed or grown. Individual counties were allowed to establish higher limits as well. SB 420 also said that those “who associate within the state of California in order collectively or cooperatively to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes, shall not solely on the basis of that fact be subject to state criminal sanctions.” This section grants legal protection to cooperatives, collectives, and dispensaries.

In Lake County, Marin County, and Napa County, qualified patients and primary caregivers may possess 6 mature plants or 12 immature plants and up to 8 ounces of processed marijuana.

In Mendocino County the grow limit is 25 plants per parcel and a maximum canopy of 100 square feet.

Sonoma County has some of the most lenient guidelines in the state regarding medical marijuana. Qualified patients and primary caregivers may have up to 30 plants with up to 100 square feet of canopy and up to 3 pounds of processed marijuana per year.

Contact Amy Chapman

If you have been investigated, detained, or arrested on a marijuana charge, you should consult with a local marijuana attorney right away, even if you think you do not have a medical defense. A marijuana conviction is still a drug conviction that can have a major effect on your schooling, career, and immigration status. Call Amy Chapman today
at (707) 636-3207 or contact her online to find out what defenses and motions may be available to you in your marijuana case.

Law Office of Amy Chapman

Santa Rosa Criminal Defense Lawyer

703 2nd Street

Suite 407

Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Phone: (707) 636-3207

Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm

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