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People can still face drug charges for marijuana in California

Since California has been one of the states at the forefront of marijuana legalization, there might be a misplaced belief that there are relatively few situations that can lead to an arrest for crimes related to it. However, that is a mistake that can lead to people unwittingly being confronted by criminal charges. The age of the person, the amount they have and where they have it could all be key factors in the charges and possible penalties. This might spark an arrest. Knowing the law is imperative.

There are still strict rules for cannabis based on age and amounts

Based on state law, if a person under 18 is convicted of having up to 28.5 grams of cannabis, up to eight grams of concentrated cannabis or both, they will need to take four hours of drug counseling and as much as 10 hours of community service within 60 days. If they commit a subsequent offense, that is increased to six hours of education or counseling or 20 hours of community service completed within 90 days. If the person is over 18 but under 21, they will face a $100 fine.

With more than 28.5 grams or eight grams of concentrated cannabis, they will need to take eight hours of educational classes and perform 40 hours of community service within 90 days. Those 18 or older with more than these amounts could be imprisoned for six months, fined $500 or both. A second charge will require 10 hours or education and 60 hours of community service within 120 days. Committing these violations on school grounds at a location where grades 1 to 12 are taught will face misdemeanor charges with a fine of $250 for a first offense, $500 for a subsequent offense and jail for 10 days.

Drug charges for marijuana or cannabis can be problematic

Although the penalties might not seem severe for these drug crimes, it is important for those who are involved in this burgeoning industry to adhere to the law. The state is still navigating how to handle the increased legalization of these substances and it is learning as it goes. People could get caught up in these cases and be arrested. If there is a misstep and charges are filed, there are strategies to lodge a viable defense.

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