Marijuana, or cannabis, is a legitimate drug that has proven medical benefits. It has assisted patients with chronic pain and has helped patients eat when they do not have the appetite to do so. Despite these benefits, it has been a punchline for comedians and a dividing topic among political officials.
California law regarding marijuana can be severe. The law prohibits a wide variety of behavior, including possession of even small amounts of the substance. To make matters worse, “the war on drugs” encourages police and law enforcement to engage in unconstitutional behavior. Drug enforcement agents have, in the past, entrapped defendants, performed unlawful searches, and exaggerated police reports.
The prisons in California are over-capacity. Prisoners face crowded conditions, which may be unconstitutional by itself. Defendants detained on drug crimes need to have adequate representation to ensure that their rights are preserved.
California Health and Safety Code § 11357 (a). Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses any concentrated cannabis shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than one year or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment, or shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code.
California Health and Safety Code § 11357.5 (a). Every person who sells, dispenses, distributes, furnishes, administers, or gives, or offers to sell, dispense, distribute, furnish, administer, or give, or possesses for sale any synthetic cannabinoid compound, or any synthetic cannabinoid derivative, to any person, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
California Health and Safety Code § 11358. Every person who plants, cultivates, harvests, dries, or processes any marijuana or any part thereof, except as otherwise provided by law, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code.
California Health and Safety Code § 11360 (a). Except as otherwise provided by this section or as authorized by law, every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport any marijuana shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for a period of two, three or four years.
California Health and Safety Code § 11364 (a). It is unlawful to possess an opium pipe or any device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking (1) a controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 11055, or (2) a controlled substance which is a narcotic drug classified in Schedule III, IV, or V.