Marijuana laws in California are complex. Medical marijuana is legal in California but recreational use is illegal. Someone caught with marijuana can be charged with a range of crimes: from an infraction (with a maximum $100 fine) to a felony for selling or intending to sell, which can be subject to heavy penalties.
Marijuana is defined in Health and Safety Code section 11018: “Marijuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds of that plant; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin. It does not include industrial hemp, as defined in Section 11018.5, except where the plant is cultivated or processed for purposes not expressly allowed for by Division 24 (commencing with Section 81000) of the Food and Agricultural Code.
Overview of common marijuana charges and sentencing ranges:
- Possession of marijuana. Health and Safety Code section 11357 infraction or misdemeanor
- Cultivation. Health and Safety Code section 11358. Felony for 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years
- Possession with intent to sell. Health and Safety Code 11359. Felony for 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years
- Sale, transportation, or distribution. Health and Safety Code section 11360. Felony for 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years
- Chemical extraction (manufacturing concentrated cannabis). Health and Safety Code section 11379.6 Felony for 3 years, 4 years, or 5 years
- California also multiple drug diversion programs, including deferred entry of judgment and Proposition 36. These programs allow offenders to receive drug treatment instead of jail time.
The lawyers at the Virga Law Firm have experience representing clients in all types of marijuana cases and can help you with your case.