How the New California Marijuana Laws Affect You

In a contentious election, one result seemed fairly unanimous: Prop 64. California has legalized recreational marijuana, as many sources predicted. Before abandoning all caution, however, marijuana users should take some time to familiarize themselves with what exactly this will mean. Recreational marijuana use may be legal, but as with drinking alcohol, there will still be certain limitations.

New California Marijuana Laws

  • Possession:
    • 1 Ounce (8 grams): Decriminalized for adults 21 years and older
    • More than 8 grams: Misdemeanor with a possible 6-month jail sentence and a $500 fine.
    • Illegal sale or intent to distribute: Downgraded from a felony crime to a misdemeanor. However, aggravating factors may result in felony charges.
  • Sale or delivery:
    • Any amount for profit: A misdemeanor, unless properly licensed to sell. Licensed retail stores will not become operational until January 1, 2018.
    • Gift of 8 grams or less: Decriminalized. A gift of more than 8 grams will be charged as a misdemeanor.
  • Cultivation:
    • Up to six plants: Adults 21 years and older can lawfully cultivate up to six plants on their residents, as well as possess and use the produce.
    • Any amount over six plants: Downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Regulations on Marijuana Use, Possession, & Cultivation

In order to protect the health and safety of users and those around them, certain restrictions are still in place. Many of these limitations are similar to those imposed on consuming alcohol. Marijuana restrictions include:

  • Public Places - Users may not consume marijuana in public areas
  • Non-Smoking Areas - Users must follow the same smoking regulations as tobacco users, including not smoking in designated non-smoking areas, or within 1,000 feet of a building.
  • Open Container - Users may not possess an open container of marijuana as a driver or passenger of any vehicle.
  • Schools - Users may not consume marijuana at a school or youth center where children are present.

Additionally, the following are unaffected by the legalization of recreational marijuana:

  • Property owners have the right to prohibit the possession, use, or cultivation of marijuana on their own premises
  • Employers have the right to forbid marijuana use by employees

For more information regarding California’s marijuana laws, or if you need legal protection after being arrested for a drug crime, Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich can help. Our Murrieta criminal defense attorneys are backed by decades of combined legal experience and thousands of success stories. Call (951) 506-6654 today to schedule a free consultation in Murrieta or Riverside.


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