Medical cannabis may be legally used and cultivated by qualified patients in California under Prop. 215, if they have a recommendation from a licensed physician. The state limit is set at 6 mature, or 12 immature, plants and 8 ounces of marijuana. There are exceptions where a physician may declare that more is needed. It is good to know that marijuana is illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. While federal charges are usually only brought in large cases, medical marijuana patients are not protected while on federal park land, or forest land, in California. A California recommendation is not a defense in federal court, when facing federal possession charges.
Transportation, Cultivation, and Sales/Distribution:
Cultivation of any amount of marijuana is a felony. Individuals who grow for personal use are eligible for PC 1000, so long as there is no evidence of intent to sell. Selling, transporting, or distributing marijuana is also a felony. However, transporting or giving away less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of a $100 fine.
Minors & Marijuana:
Anyone under the age of 21 convicted of any marijuana, alcohol, or other drug offense faces a 12-month suspension of their driving privilege. It is important to note that this is regardless of whether or not the offense was driving-related. An attorney may be able to get the court to grant the minor, restricted driving privileges, by demonstrating a “critical need to drive”. Also, this penalty may be avoided by entering into a diversion program.