California Marijuana Limitations

What Happens if I am Under 21 and Caught Carrying or Using Cannabis?

An individual over the age of 21 can use cannabis in California without being a part of the state medical cannabis program. An individual can carry not more than one ounce of cannabis or 8gms of concentrated cannabis according to HSC 11362.1. The law allows them to possess, process, transport, purchase, obtain cannabis up to this amount. The law also allows them to cultivate, possess, plant, harvest, dry or process not more than six live plants and possess its produce. Individuals under the age of 21 years can not come under this law. If they are caught with marijuana, they will be punished according to the provisions of the law. Some of the instances where a recreational user under 21 years will be punished under the California marijuana laws include:

  • Growing any amount of marijuana is considered an infraction. If they are under 18 years they may be required to attend drug counseling and do community service. If they are 18 and over but under 21 years, they will be fined up to $100.

  • An unlicensed sale or transportation of marijuana is an infraction. It is also an infraction if the under 21 gives away or transport cannabis up to 28.5 grams for sale

  • It is a felony for an individual under 21 years but 18 years and older to sell marijuana to a minor. Sentences will be served in the California state prison as opposed to county jail. If the minor involved is under 14 years, the penalty is three to seven years, if the minor is over 14 years but less than 18 years the penalty is three to five years.

  • Possession of more than 28.5 grams of cannabis or more than four grams of concentrated cannabis by an individual under 18 years is an infraction. It attracts a penalty of drug counseling and community service.

  • Possession of more than 28.5 grams of cannabis or more than four grams of concentrated cannabis by an individual over 18 years is a misdemeanor. This attracts up to 6 months in county jail and payment of fines up to $500

  • Possession of cannabis or concentrated cannabis on the grounds of a K-12 school by an individual who is 18 years and over is a misdemeanor. It will attract a penalty of up to $250 fine if it is a first-time offense.

  • Possession of cannabis or concentrated cannabis on the grounds of a K-12 school by an individual who is under 18 years is an infraction. This attracts a penalty of drug counseling and community service.

Where is it Legal to Smoke Weed in California?

Since the legalization of marijuana in California, it is legal to smoke weed in the state as an adult aged 21 years and over. However, there are still many laws in place that restrict the use of cannabis in California

Cannabis cannot be consumed in a public place, especially on federally designated properties in the state. Users can only smoke in their private homes. Also, they can not smoke cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school, youth center, or daycare where children are present. They can also smoke marijuana in smoking loungesin the state. Most smoking lounges are connected to registered dispensaries in the state. This applies to both recreational users and medical users. If an individual is caught smoking or using weed in the public they will be fined $100.

The public also applies to vehicle users, so if a user is transporting marijuana they must not smoke it in their vehicle or any type of transportation. If they are transporting the weed in their car it must be in an unbroken container or sealed container. If it is by chance open, it must be stored in a locked place. If caught with an unsealed container, the police may treat it as if caught driving under the influence of alcohol which is a serious offense.

Can I Leave California with Cannabis?

No. Even though it is legal to possess marijuana in California, it is, however, illegal to travel between different states even if weed is legal there. Traveling via airplanes makes it a federal crime to carry marijuana when traveling. It is because marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law and federal law governs airplay travel. So if the TSA finds marijuana on an individual it may be confiscated or have it reported to federal government agencies. Although LAX in California allows 21 years old to carry up to an ounce of marijuana, or eight grams in concentrated form. For individuals with an MMJ card, it is illegal to travel between states with marijuana. Although their MMJ card is valid in states that practice medical marijuana reciprocity. It is advisable to use their MMJ card in such a state to purchase a designated amount instead of traveling out of state with it.

However, if they are caught with illegal amounts of marijuana or the individual is not of legal age it is an offense. They may be charged with penalties provided in §11357 of the California Health and Safety Code (HSC).

To avoid facing penalties in the state they are entering, they need to familiarize themselves with the existing law states they are traveling into. For instance, traveling from California to Boulder, Colorado may not attract any penalty.

Will Cannabis Affect My Driving Record in California?

Yes, a conviction for DUI of cannabis may lead to conviction, payment of fine, suspicion of a license, or revocation of license. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has the authority to issue driver's licenses and also has the authority to revoke or suspend for infraction of traffic laws. Generally, there are two types of California traffic tickets: infractions and misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is a more serious driving offense, and driving under the influence is considered a misdemeanor in California.

Usually, the California DMV uses a point system to assign value for each traffic violation. The traffic tickets carry between one to two points and this point assigned will be added to such individual driving records. If the point accumulates to a certain number of points, the driver may typically lose their driving privileges. If caught driving under the influence, the driver gets assigned 2 Points. This point assigned to a DUI driver stays on their record for 10 years. The driver will get their license suspended or revoked if they accumulate point for DUI on their driving record, in the following ways:

  • 4 or more points in 12 months
  • 6 or more in 24 months
  • 8 or more in 36 months

Also if they are convicted for an offense of DUI, they can get between six months to two years of suspended licenses. They can get one to five years of revoked license if it is a misdemeanor or felony with injury.

Can I Get a DUI if I Drive While I am High?

Yes, in California, the law prohibits driving while under the influence. One of marijuana's active ingredients is a substance called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and one of its effects may impair the ability to drive. The California Vehicle Code 23152f stipulates it is a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana. Driving under the influence of marijuana in California is prosecuted the same as a charge of DUI of alcohol. There is no definition for under the influence in the statute, but it may be taken to imply some degree of impairment. So the definite amount of dosage to take to get arrested for DUI is relative. Also under California law, there is no legal limit for marijuana like alcohol because chemical tests for THC are not reliable.

Chemical test results are not a necessity to convict a DUI offender in California. The officer can rely on other evidence such as:

  • Their driving pattern;
  • Their statement to the arresting law enforcement agencies
  • The driver's performance on Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs);
  • The possession of marijuana in the car or other drug paraphernalia
  • Physical symptoms of intoxication (dilated pupils, rapid breathing, odor of marijuana, or slowed reaction time)
  • Evidence of marijuana addiction.

The law enforcement agencies may administer a field sobriety test, if they refuse they may forfeit their license. This involves:

  • Blood tests to test for the presence of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC")
  • A urine test to check for the presence of inactive metabolites that may found in marijuana
  • Oral swab or saliva test to detect the presence of marijuana

If an individual is charged with driving under influence of cannabis they will be charged and the possible penalty depends on the offense itself. When they are arrested, it does not matter if the driver is a recreational user or because they are medical marijuana users. Penalties provided by the law range from informal probation, fines, jail time in county jail or state prison, or license suspension. However, if there is a serious accident, it will be charged as a felony. Unless a serious accident is involved, it is usually charged as a misdemeanor. (It does not matter whether the driver used medicinal or recreational marijuana.)

  • 1st DUI offense attracts up to six month jail time, $390 to $1000 fine, three or nine months in a DUI school, and six to ten months of a suspended license
  • 2nd DUI offense will attract 96 hours to one year jail time, $390 to $1000 fine, 18 or 30 months in a DUI school, and two years of a suspended license
  • 3rd DUI offense attracts 120 days to one year jail time, $390 to $1000 fine,30 months in a DUI school, and three years revoked license.
  • Misdemeanor DUI with injury attracts five days to one year jail time, $390 to $5000 fine, three or 18 or 30 months DUI school, and one to three years revoked license.

DUI may be charged as a felony if the individual causes an accident and it results in injury or death to a third party. If the driver has three or more prior DUI convictions within the last 10 years. Also if the driver has a prior felony conviction within the last ten years.

  • Felony DUI attracts 16 months or two or three years jail time in state prison, $390 to $1000 fine,18 or 30 months in a DUI school, and four years revoked license.
  • Felony DUI with injury 16 months or 16 years jail time in state prison, $1,015 to $5,000 fine( plus restitution). Then 18 or 30 months in a DUI school and five years revoked licenses

However in cases where a third party dies due to the individual impaired driving, they may be facing charges of Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, Penal Code 191.5(a) PC. Alternatively, they may be charged with Second-degree murder – known as "Watson" murder or DUI murder.

Also, Vehicle Code 23222 b VC makes it an offense to drive a vehicle while in possession of an open container of cannabis. The law allows a driver to transport marijuana in a closed or sealed container, if it's open, it must be stored in a locked area. If a driver violates this section they face a $100 fine.

Can I Buy Marijuana in California?

Yes, any person 21 years or older can legally purchase cannabis and its products in state-registered dispensaries. Also for medical marijuana users, as long as they have the MMJ cards they can legally purchase from registered medical dispensaries. However, to legally purchase cannabis, the individual must present their valid ID, usually, a California-issued driver's license or a US passport. A qualified patient only needs their MMJ card or a recommendation from a licensed physician in California. If the patient is a minor, they can purchase through their caregiver who must also be registered. However such caregivers must be at least 18 years old and must be residents in California.

Where Can I Buy Marijuana in California?

In the state of California, there are both medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries. An adult aged 21 years and older with a valid government-issued ID can purchase at any recreational dispensary in the state. While a qualified patient with an MMj card can visit any of the medical marijuana dispensaries. However only dispensaries with local permits and state licenses are allowed to sell recreational and medical cannabis. The Bureau of Cannabis Controlis in charge of licensing retailers of marijuana. There are two types of retail license in California

  • A storefront retailer (Type 10) licensee- they sell cannabis products to customers at their store or by delivery. This type of license requires the holder to have a licensed physical location, that must include the address.
  • A non-storefront retailer (Type 9) licensee- they sell cannabis products to customers exclusively via delivery. They must have a licensed storehouse for their cannabis products and their premises must not be open to the public for business.

It is important to note that individual cities make their own decisions when it comes to licensing dispensaries. For example, Santa Ana allows both medical and adult-use dispensaries, Los Angeles allows both types of dispensaries and both types of home grows. However, the unincorporated area of Los Angeles doesn't allow either type of dispensary. Marijuana users can find a licensed dispensary via the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.

How Much is Marijuana in California?

There is no uniform price for how much licensed dispensaries sell their cannabis products. Cannabis comes in several forms, but the most common form is the flower or the dried marijuana buds and it comes in different strains. It can be purchased in the form of a pre-rolled joint or as bud itself. Marijuana also comes in the following forms:

  • Concentrates are more powerful than a flower and also come in different forms like kief, wax, and oils.
  • Edibles are just that food that has cannabis extractions incorporated into their making process. There are brownies, cookies, gummy candies, lollipops, and even cannabis-infused drinks.

On Average, an ounce of high-quality cannabis costs about $257 while they pay $5.97 on average for a joint. For medium-quality marijuana, they pay $207 on average for an ounce and $4.83 for a joint. An eighth of flowers will averagely go for about $60 or less; a vape pen depending on the brand can go for $30 or more. The price for edibles is based on their potency.

To buy cannabis in California individuals can pay using thor credit cards or cash. The cannabis prices vary in the different dispensaries in counties of California. Use the dispensary guide to inquire for more information

How Much Cannabis Can I Legally Have?

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, Proposition 64, provides that 21 years old and the older legal limit is possession of up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrates. Then they can have up to 28.5 grams of marijuana flower, and grow up to six living marijuana plants in their home. This limitation also applies to the purchase of cannabis from licensed dispensaries within the state.

While a qualified patient with an MMJ card or has a licensed doctor's recommendation can possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana and 12 live plants. They can possess as much cannabis as their medical condition may reasonably require. This legal limit also applies to their registered caregiver when helping them with the purchase of cannabis products.

Where is Weed Legal?

State Legal Status Medicinal Recreational
Alabama Criminalized No No
Alaska Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arizona Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arkansas Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Colorado Decriminalized Yes Yes
Connecticut Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Delaware Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
District of Columbia Decriminalized Yes Yes
Florida Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Georgia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Hawaii Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Idaho Decriminalized No No
Illinois Decriminalized Yes Yes
Indiana Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Iowa Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Kansas Decriminalized No No
Kentucky Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Louisiana Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Maine Decriminalized Yes Yes
Maryland Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Massachusetts Decriminalized Yes Yes
Michigan Decriminalized Yes Yes
Minnesota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Mississippi Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Missouri Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Montana Decriminalized Yes Yes
Nebraska Decriminalized No Yes
Nevada Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Hampshire Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Jersey Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Mexico Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New York Decriminalized Yes Yes
North Carolina Decriminalized No Yes
North Dakota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Ohio Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Oklahoma Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Oregon Decriminalized Yes Yes
Pennsylvania Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Rhode Island Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
South Carolina Decriminalized No No
South Dakota Decriminalized Yes Yes
Tennessee Decriminalized No No
Texas Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Utah Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Vermont Decriminalized Yes Yes
Virginia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil Yes
Washington Decriminalized Yes Yes
West Virginia Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Wisconsin Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Wyoming Decriminalized No No
In this section:
California Marijuana Limitations