Criminal Defense in Orange County
Understanding Marijuana Charges

Marijuana: Possession, Sale & Cultivation Crimes

Drug Defense Attorney Serving Orange County, CA

At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, our Anaheim drug crimes lawyer wants you to know the laws surrounding marijuana. Possession of cannabis (marijuana) is illegal according to the California Health and Safety Code § 11357(a). According to this statute, you could be sentenced to a maximum of one year in county jail and/or a fine of $500 if you are found to be in possession of concentrated cannabis.

Recently, however, California implemented a change to the regulations regarding marijuana for personal use. Subsection B of § 11357 now states that possession of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana for personal use (rather than for sale/profit), is now only considered an infraction, similar to a traffic violation. This crime is punishable by a maximum fine of $100.

Possession of marijuana is one of the most common drug crimes committed in the state of California and in Orange County. Possession of marijuana for sale is also quite common. Cultivation is slightly rarer, as it is a more serious offense. Cultivation involves growing cannabis plants, but this is only a crime for those who do not have a medical license to do so. Some cultivators are considered medical dispensaries and some patients may cultivate their own cannabis if they do not live in close proximity to a dispensary.

California Health and Safety Code § 11357

According to the Health and Safety Code § 11357(c), possession of marijuana above the amount of 28.5 grams is punishable by imprisonment in county jail for up to six months and a maximum $500 fine. This crime becomes an aggravated offense under certain circumstances. For example, if this is not a first offense, the penalties will be enhanced. If the marijuana was on a school premises, the penalties can be enhanced. A fairly new addition to the list of illegal narcotics is synthetic drugs. Therefore, synthetic marijuana carries with it the same penalties as natural marijuana.

Subsection B of § 11357.5 of the Health and Safety Code details which substances are considered to be synthetic marijuana; the list includes the following:

  • 1-pentyl-3(1-naphthoyl) indole
  • 1-butyl-3-(1-naphthoyl) indole
  • 1-[2-(4-morpholinyl)ethyl]-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole
  • 5-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol
  • 5-(1,1-dimethyloctyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol

In simpler terms, these substances are included in most so-called "designer drugs" that are made of things like natural herbs and chemicals. The purpose of these designer drugs is to mimic the effects of marijuana, while not actually containing the cannabis substance. Some of the most well-known types of synthetic cannabis include K2 and Spice brands.

Put More Than Three Decades of Experience on Your Side

If you have been arrested for a drug crime such as possession, sale or cultivation of marijuana, get in touch with the firm as soon as possible. These cases, like all criminal cases, are time-sensitive. Clients often benefit most when they act fast. A drug crime conviction carries with it a stigma. You will have a mark on your criminal record that can affect your ability to gain employment, loans, etc. To avoid a conviction, you need an aggressive advocate on your side, fighting for your rights. Barney Gibbs has more than three decades of experience exclusively practicing criminal defense.

If you've been arrested, do not hesitate to contact an Anaheim drug crime attorney from The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs today.


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