Did you know that nearly 50 million Americans claim to use marijuana? Although many people choose to do so recreationally, plenty consumes the substance to help manage health issues. If you’re one of the latter, you might be wondering if you can use marijuana in California.
So, is weed legal in California? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.
Why is Marijuana Federally Outlawed?
Marijuana is federally outlawed due to its classification as a Schedule I drug. According to the government, this means that it has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin and LSD.
However, many people argue that marijuana does indeed have medical benefits. Plenty of research has been conducted to support this claim.
So if Marijuana Has Medical Benefits, Why Isn’t it Legal?
The simple answer is that the federal government hasn’t caught up with the research. Unfortunately, changing a drug’s classification is a long and complicated process. In the meantime, individual states are allowed to make laws regarding marijuana use.
This is where things get a bit confusing. Although the federal government has not legalized marijuana, some states have.
This creates something known as a conflict of laws. Essentially, this means that there are two sets of laws regarding the same thing — in this case, marijuana.
Federal law takes precedence over state law, which is why marijuana is still technically illegal in states where it has been legalized. Confused yet? Don’t worry, and we’ll explain everything in more detail below.
What Does California Law Say About Marijuana?
As mentioned above, the state of California has legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use.
According to state law, it is legal to grow, possess, and consume marijuana. However, there are still some restrictions in place. For example, you must be 21 or over to purchase or consume recreational marijuana.
There are limits on how much marijuana you can possess at any time. Adults can have up to 28.5 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated marijuana (also known as hashish). Growing up to six marijuana plants in your home is also legal.
However, only four of these plants can mature at any given time. Mission Organic is a reliable dispensary that you should keep in mind in the future when looking for marijuana.
Can I Import Weed From the Other States Into California?
No. Even if you live in a state where marijuana is legal, you are not allowed to bring it into California.
This is because each state has laws regarding marijuana use, and these laws do not extend beyond state borders. So, if you’re caught trying to import weed into California from another state, you could face some severe penalties.
What if I’m Caught With Marijuana in California?
The penalties are relatively minor if you’re caught with 28.5 grams or less of marijuana. You will be fined $100 and will not receive a criminal record.
However, if you’re caught with more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, you could face up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.
It’s also worth noting that the penalties for possessing concentrated marijuana differ from those for possessing marijuana. If you’re caught with 8 grams or less of hashish, you will be fined $100 and will not receive a criminal record.
However, if you’re caught with more than 8 grams of hashish, you could face up to three years in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Of course, these are just the maximum penalties. Most people caught with small amounts of marijuana will only receive a citation. You could face more severe charges if you’re caught with large amounts of marijuana or hashish.
In these cases, law enforcement typically needs to prove that you intend to commit a more serious crime. For instance, if you are caught with a large amount of weed and law enforcement suspects that you intend to sell it, you could be charged with possession with intent to sell.
What About Federal Law?
As we mentioned above, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. This means that it is still possible to be arrested and charged with a crime if you are caught with marijuana in California.
However, this is unlikely to happen. This is because the federal government has stated that it will not enforce federal marijuana laws in states where it has been legalized.
In other words, they are leaving it up to the states to decide how to deal with marijuana. As long as you follow California’s laws regarding marijuana, you should be fine.
Of course, this could all change in the future if the federal government decides to crack down on states that have legalized marijuana. For now, though, it seems unlikely that this will occur.
So, Is Weed Legal in California?
The answer is yes and no. Although it is technically illegal under federal law, California has legalized it for medical and recreational use.
This means that you can grow, possess, and consume marijuana without fear of being arrested or charged with a crime. Just follow the state’s laws regarding marijuana use, and you won’t encounter any issues.
Marijuana Laws Are Easier to Understand Than You Think
Although the question “is weed legal in California” might seem complex at first, it’s pretty simple once you break it down. Be sure to keep the above information in mind to avoid complications in the future.
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