|Marijuana Laws in California|
|28.5 g or less||misdemeanor||none||$100|
|More than 28.5 g||misdemeanor||6 months||$500|
|28.5 g or less on school grounds while school open (over 18 yers old)||misdemeanor||10 days||$500|
|More than 28.5 g on school grounds while school open (over 18 yers old)||misdemeanor||6 months||$500|
|Any amount (exception for patients or caregivers)||felony||16 – 36 months||none|
|Gift of less than 28.5 g||misdemeanor||none||$100|
|Any amount||felony||2 – 4 years||none|
|28.5 g or less by a minor||misdemeanor||none||$250|
|Any amount to a minor over 14 years old||felony||3 – 5 years||none|
|Any amount to a minor under 14 years old (includes offering, inducing, distributing, or employing)||felony||3 – 7 years||none|
|MISCELLANEOUS (paraphernalia, license suspensions, etc…)|
|Any conviction of minor under 21 causes driver’s license suspension for 1 year.|
Possession of 28.5 grams or less of marijuana is not an arrestable offense. As long as the offender can provide sufficient identification and promises to appear in court, the officer will not arrest the offender. Upon conviction of the misdemeanor charge the offender is subject to a fine of $100. Possession of greater than 28.5 grams is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Possession of 28.5 grams or less of marijuana on school grounds when the school is open is punishable by up to 10 days in jail and a $500 fine. Possession of greater than 28.5 grams or more of marijuana in a school zone is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
The cultivation or processing of any amount of marijuana is punishable by up to sixteen months in state prison. There is an exception to the cultivation prohibition for patients or patients caregivers who possess or cultivate for personal use by the patient upon approval of a physician.
The laws regarding possession and cultivation of marijuana do not apply to patients or patients primary caregivers who possess or cultivate marijuana for the personal medical use of the patient, upon the recommendation or approval of a physician.
Selling marijuana in any amount is punishable by 2 – 4 years in the state prison. Giving away less than 28.5 grams is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $100.
Sale of marijuana to a minor is punishable by 3 – 5 years in prison.
For anyone under the age of 21 convicted of any of the above offenses, the state may suspend the offenders drivers license for up to one year.
Possession of paraphernalia is a civil fine of $200-$300 for the first offense and goes up to $5,000-$6,000 for a fifth or subsequent violation within a five-year periood.
A breakdown of CA county and local medical marijuana guidelines is available here:
Decriminalization: The state has decriminalized marijuana to some degree. Typically, decriminalization means no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption. The conduct is treated like a minor traffic violation.
Medical marijuana: This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana’s medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective. For more information see NORML’s Medical Marijuana section.
Hemp: This state has an active hemp industry. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed, and other products. For more information see NORML’s Industrial Use section.