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Avoiding Drug Charges Following Marijuana Legalization in California

Posted on in Drug Crimes

San Jose drug charges attorney, marijuana legalization, drug charges, marijuana DUI, recreational marijuanaAs of January 1, 2018, the sale of marijuana for recreational use will be legal in the state of California. While this represents a major change in state laws, there are still situations in which the possession or use of marijuana can lead to criminal charges. Users of recreational marijuana should be aware of how the law affects them and how they can avoid marijuana-related drug charges.

Marijuana Possession and Sale

Under California law, a person over the age of 21 can possess up to 28.5 grams (about one ounce) of marijuana, or up to eight grams of concentrated cannabis. It is also legal to grow up to six marijuana plants in one’s home, as long as they are kept in a locked area. Starting January 1, 2018, licensed businesses will be able to sell marijuana, as long as it is allowed in the county or city where they are located.

Possession of more than the legal amount of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale without a license are misdemeanor offenses, punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $500. Possession of marijuana by someone under the age of 21 is an infraction, and offenders will be required to complete four hours of drug education or counseling and 10 hours of community service. For minors between the age of 18 and 21, possession is also punishable by a maximum fine of $100.

Marijuana and DUI 

While marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in California, it is still illegal to drive while under the influence of any intoxicating substance. In addition, it is illegal for both drivers and passengers to smoke or consume marijuana while driving or to have an “open container” of marijuana in the vehicle.

Following the change to the law, police will be on the lookout for people who are driving under the influence of marijuana. However, police do not currently have a reliable test for measuring the amount of THC in a driver’s system to determine intoxication. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible who can help you minimize the consequences of your arrest.

Previous Marijuana Convictions

One key provision of the change to California law is that offenders who have been previously convicted on marijuana charges may be able to have their sentence reduced or dismissed. If you are serving a sentence for an offense that is no longer illegal or would result in a lesser charge under the new law, a criminal defense attorney can help you petition the court to request re-sentencing or dismissal. 

Contact a San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have any questions about how the changes to California’s marijuana laws will affect your criminal case, the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson can provide you with the answers you need and work with you to ensure that the laws are applied correctly in your situation. Contact a San Jose, CA drug charges attorney today at 408-246-3004 to schedule a free consultation. 


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