Part 5 of our American Marijuana Guide sees us heading West to the home of the rich and famous and the most populated state in the country, California.
Possession: Possession of up to and including 28.5 grams of cannabis in California is a civil infraction punishable by a fine of $100. Possession of more than 28.5 grams is a misdemeanour punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and a fine up to $500.
If the amount possessed is 28.5 grams or less but the person is 18 years of age or older and the possession occurred on school grounds, the person is guilty of a misdemeanour punishable by up to 10 days imprisonment and a fine up to $500. If the offender was younger than 18 years of age, then the offence is a misdemeanour punishable by a fine up to $250 in the first instance and a fine up to $500 for any further offences.
Sale: Sale of any amount of cannabis in California is a felony punishable by 2-4 years imprisonment. However, a gift or transportation of 28.5 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanour punishable by fine up to $100. If a person is arrested for this misdemeanour, they shall be released upon presentation of sufficient identification and signing of a written promise to appear in court.
Delivery or attempted delivery without compensation of any amount of marijuana by an individual aged 18 years or older to an individual who is 14-17 years old is a felony punishable by 3-5 years imprisonment. Delivery or attempted delivery without compensation of any amount of marijuana by an individual aged 18 years or older to an individual who is under the age of 14 is a felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment.
Cultivation: Cultivation of any amount of cannabis in California is a felony punishable by 16-36 months imprisonment.
Medical Marijuana: California’s medical marijuana program was established when state voters approved Proposition 215 on the 1996 ballot with a 55% majority. The proposition modified state law to allow people with cancer, anorexia, AIDS, glaucoma, arthritis, migraines or other chronic illnesses the “legal right to obtain or grow, and use marijuana for medical purposes when recommended by a doctor”.
Latest Legal News: In 2010, Proposition 19 was put forward for Californian state ballots. This law would have legalized recreational cannabis in California but was defeated by a narrow margin. Further propositions are expected in the near future