Marijuana Laws in California Lawyers

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Is Marijuana Possession Illegal in California?

On November 9, 2016, Californians approved Prop 64 to legalize adult use of marijuana by a margin of about 56% and 44%. California became the 5th state to legalize recreational marijuana use after Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington all legalized it in their state. California legalized recreational marijuana 20 years after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana.

What Is Legal and What Is Not Legal for Recreational Marijuana Use in California?

What is legal about the use of recreational marijuana use in California is that adults over the age of 21 can now legally use, possess, and share marijuana as well as grow it in their home. Currently, there aren’t any adult dispensary shops where people can buy marijuana without a medical prescription or a patient card. However, for adults over the age of 21 in California, it is now legal to use, possess and share marijuana, as well as grow it at home. Adults over the age of 21 can freely open their bags and have up to one once of marijuana without being cited or arrested for possession of marijuana. 

Where Can I Buy Marijuana if There Aren’t Any Dispensaries?

Until January 2018, there isn’t any dispensary stores that sell marijuana and you cannot legally buy a marijuana plant. However, someone can legally give you marijuana if they are growing it in their backyard. When someone shares or gives you marijuana, there cannot be any kind of value or money involved in the exchange. 

Where Can Marijuana Be Consumed?

Adults cannot smoke or ingest weed in public areas. Though Proposition 64 will eventually allow for licensed on-site consumption. Just as public drinking is not legal, smoking out in public is also not allowed. The safest way to consume marijuana is inside a private home or residence for now. Pending local rules and regulations, Californians will eventually be able to host private events where marijuana is shared and smoked.  Until then, all consumption of marijuana must be within closed private areas.

Can I take Marijuana on an Airplane?

No. Like any other drugs, marijuana cannot be taken on an airplane or across state lines. In every state that has legalized marijuana, marijuana products have to be grown and consumed within that state only because only certain states have only legalized marijuana and there is still a federal prohibition on marijuana.

What Happens If I Smoke Marijuana and Drive?

Just like alcohol, weed can impair a persons driving and it is still illegal to do drugs or smoke or ingest marijuana and operate a vehicle, boat, aircraft, or any other vessel.  The exact protocols for determining if a driver is impaired by marijuana will be set out by the California Highway Patrol.

Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Although recreational marijuana has become legal in the state of California, the laws are very new and many can get in trouble if they do not follow the regulations that are still in place. It is very important to contact an experienced criminal attorney if you have been charged with any sort of marijuana crime in California. The complex nature of contradicting laws makes it all the more important that you have someone on your side who knows how best to defend you in these legal gray areas therefore an experienced California lawyer is essential to protect your legal rights.

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Last Modified: 12-06-2016 11:14 AM PST

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