Marijuana Laws in California: What You Need to Know

A number of propositions were passed in the 2016 election, including Prop 64, or the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). This proposition legalized the personal use of marijuana in California while maintaining some restrictions on the substance. What are those freedoms and restrictions, and how does federal law come into play? Read on to find out!

If you were charged with a marijuana-related crime, don’t wait to start building your defense. Call our Fresno drug crime lawyer at (559) 484-2112 now.

California Law

In 1996, California passed Prop 215, allowing the use of medical marijuana. With the passing of AUMA in 2016, any adult over the age of 21 can now legally use cannabis within their own home.

AUMA legalizes the possession, processing, transport, purchase, and/or gifting of cannabis to another person over the age of 21. The limit you can purchase, own, or give away at one time can be no more than 28.5 grams or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.

AUMA also legalizes the cultivation, possession, and harvesting of 6 or less live plants, and the produce of said plants, within a single home. The plants must not be visible from a public area and may be subject to local government restrictions.

The passing of AUMA includes a number of prohibited activities, including:

  • Smoking, vaporizing or ingesting cannabis in a public area
  • Smoking or vaporizing cannabis in a non-smoking area
  • Driving or riding in a car with an “open container” of cannabis
  • Possessing or using cannabis within 600 feet of any school or daycare

California law also allows employers to maintain or mandate a drug-free workplace, and can legally terminate you for personal use of cannabis.

Additionally, landlords can legally prohibit the use of marijuana on their private property.

Federal Law

Although legalized within the state of California, any marijuana use or sale is still federally illegal. Since the 1930s, the U.S. government has classified cannabis as a controlled substance, or a substance with a high risk of abuse. Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA), any and all uses of marijuana are illegal and punishable by federal law, regardless of state laws. It is important to note that federal laws prevail over state laws when the two disagree.

Whether or not the dispensary is legal and registered with the state, the federal government can issue large fines to businesses that produce or sell the plant and even force federal asset forfeiture.

Individual persons caught possessing or using any amount of marijuana can be federally fined, or sent to prison for up to one year. Under federal law, you can be evicted from your home for any use of marijuana and can be denied the purchase of a handgun due to cannabis use.

Accused of a marijuana-related crime? Contact our Fresno drug crime attorney at The Law Office of Brian C. Andritch: (559) 484-2112.

Our drug crime lawyer has over 18 years of experience defending clients. After years as a former prosecutor, our lawyer can anticipate the details of your charges, and build a defensive strategy for you. You are not alone – our Fresno drug crime attorney is ready to defend you.

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