Glendale Marijuana Offense Defense Attorneys Serving Los Angeles County
Marijuana is now legal in California for both medicinal and recreational uses. However, there are restrictions, and a number of marijuana crimes are still on the books. The penalties and consequences for marijuana offenses can be surprisingly harsh, especially if you don’t have the right representation in your corner.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a marijuana offense in Los Angeles, you need to get a knowledgeable California drug crime defense lawyer on your side as soon as possible. Talk to the experienced criminal defense lawyers at McReynolds Vardanyan after your marijuana arrest to discuss your options and start building a strong defense today. Do not let a drug arrest derail your life.
Marijuana Was Legalized in California, But It’s Not Always Legal
The medicinal use of marijuana has been legal for several years in the State of California. More recently, California passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, legalizing the growth, possession, and distribution of marijuana for recreational purposes. However, just because marijuana is now legal for recreational purposes does not mean it is always legal in every situation. Many restrictions, regulatory limitations, and legal restrictions apply.
Among other restrictions, the following elements affect whether growth, possession, or sale of cannabis is legal in a given situation:
- Marijuana is legal for Californians aged 21 and older. As with alcohol, possession by minors is illegal, as is the distribution to minors under the age of 21.
- California has an elaborate regulatory and licensing scheme for the sale of recreational or medicinal marijuana. To grow, test, transport, sell or distribute marijuana, you must have the appropriate licenses under state and local law. Distributing without a license can lead to regulatory and criminal liability.
- Individuals can grow, possess, and share small quantities of cannabis. Possession, growth, or distribution of greater mounts without the proper license can trigger a violation of California laws and regulations. Adults aged 21 or older can possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana, 8 grams of concentrated cannabis, or six plants at any given time for personal use.
California Marijuana Offenses
Unlawful distribution or cultivation is still a crime in California, although the state has moved toward treating these offenses less harshly. In many cases, a violation will be treated as an infraction rather than a criminal offense, although if larger quantities or other aggravating factors apply, there are still marijuana offenses classified as felonies under California law.
Common crimes still charged in California include:
- Possession With Intent to Sell. Possession with intent to sell (without the proper license) is a crime in California. At base, it is chargeable as an infraction, but aggravating circumstances such as if a minor was involved or if the defendant has prior marijuana convictions can trigger more serious penalties.
- Unlawful Cultivation. Cultivating marijuana in larger quantities than six plants without a proper license is illegal in California. In small amounts, defendants may face a misdemeanor at worst, but with sufficient aggravating factors a defendant could face up to felony charges.
- Selling Marijuana. Selling marijuana or cannabis without the proper license is a criminal offense. The quantity and circumstances dictate the severity of the crime, but law enforcement is usually content charging defendants with a misdemeanor for unlawful sale.
- Distribution to a Minor. Selling marijuana to a minor is illegal, outside of specific medicinal exceptions. Minors may also not be used for transporting, selling, or preparing marijuana for sale. It’s still a crime to induce a minor to use marijuana as well. Marijuana offenses involving minors are often charged as felonies.
Federal Marijuana Charges
It’s important to remember that cannabis remains a controlled substance under federal law, regardless of the progress of state laws on the issue. Federal officials are generally uninterested in pursuing individuals who possess, use, grow, or distribute marijuana in accordance with state law (although they technically may do so). However, individuals who violate state law, as well as those who try to distribute marijuana on federal property or across state lines, invite potential federal prosecution.
Federal prosecution is serious, and the potential penalties remain draconian. A second possession offense can be charged as a felony, as well as any unlawful sale. Unlawful cultivation, likewise, is a felony. For felony marijuana offenses, the penalties range from a maximum of five years in prison to between 40 years and life, depending upon the amount of cannabis involved and other circumstances.
Passionate and Talented California Marijuana Crime Lawyers
If you have been arrested for possession, distribution, or other drug crimes in Los Angeles or anywhere in Southern California, our zealous and trial-ready marijuana crime defense lawyers are ready to protect your rights. Call the criminal defense legal team at McReynolds Vardanyan to start building your case today. We fight for your rights and your freedom.