California has legalized medical marijuana use and cultivation under very
unique circumstances, and it has even gone as far as decriminalizing the
possession of recreational marijuana in scant amounts. While many may
see this leniency as an open invitation to use the drug, there are still
numerous ways to violate the law. And for every violation, the penalties
can be excessive. If you have a medical marijuana card as prescribed by
an approved doctor, or if you are interested in using trace amounts for
your own personal recreation, there are a handful of rights, laws, and
rules you should know about first.
Important, obscure, and critical laws to know include:
Decriminalization: In California, a legal adult may possess 28 grams, or 0.06 pounds, of marijuana
without being labeled as a criminal. Decriminalizationdoes not mean it is legal. If you have less than 28 grams of marijuana on your
person, you can be issued a citation and pay around $500 in fees and fines,
but you will not face jail time or have a mark on your criminal record
added. It will be a crime, however, to have trace amounts of marijuana with the
intent to sell or distribute it to others.
Employment hiring: Medical marijuana cards and prescriptions may require people to use marijuana
or cannabis in varying forms throughout the day to treat their illnesses
and conditions. Even though the person is not breaking the law and has
a prescription, an employer can choose not to hire them without immediate
legal backlash. Marijuana use is known to alter the user’s mind
in one way or another, and so it is deemed unsafe or unprofessional in
the workplace, akin to alcohol use.
Employment firing: Anyone who uses a drug to treat a disability is protected by the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA), including medical marijuana users. If your
employer wants to fire you for your drug use, you may be able to cry foul
and cite the ADA in your defense, and potential lawsuit. The ADA also
extends coverage to other aspects of day-to-day life, such as tenancy.
Driving: Getting behind the wheel of an automobile while under the influence of
any substance, legal or not, that alters your mind and ability to focus
is prohibited in California. Just as you would not be permitted to take
nighttime cold medicine and try to drive home, you are not allowed to
use legal marijuana and start your car. You should also not store your
marijuana in your vehicle, as this constitutes not a decriminalized infraction
but a separate possession crime, which is a misdemeanor.
If you have more questions about
legal marijuana use in California,
contact Blumenthal Law Offices today. Our Riverside drug crimes attorneys would be happy to sit down
with you during a
free initial consultation and explain your rights in more detail. We can also provide unwavering
criminal defense services for those who have been arrested and charged with a
drug crime. Just dial
951.682.5110 to connect with our team.