While the results of the November 8th election have been divisive to say the least, many Californians have had reason to rejoice due to the passing of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). Now, marijuana may be legally possessed, used, and cultivated by adults age 21 and older and a taxation system will be put in place, potentially bringing millions of dollars in revenue to the Golden State. But how exactly will this law work, and what changes will it bring?
What Is and Is Not Legal?
Under AUMA, individuals who are age 21 and older may possess, transport, and purchase up to 28.5 grams of marijuana for personal use, expanding upon the already existing law legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. With that being said, there are still several situations in which marijuana may not be used, sold, or possessed.
It will still be illegal to:
- Operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana
- Possess more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, unless medically necessary
- Use marijuana in public places unless allowed by local ordinance
- Use marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, day-care center, or youth center
- Sell or provide marijuana to minors
- Advertise marijuana products on television
- Sell marijuana without a state-issued license
Using marijuana in public will result in fines up to $100, or $250 if within a prohibited area or school zone. Likewise, selling cannabis without a license may result in misdemeanor charges with penalties up to six months in jail and $500 in fines.
How Will Prop 64 Affect Criminal Records?
Prop 64 serves arguably a more important purpose of also allowing individuals convicted of various marijuana offenses to either reduce their convictions to misdemeanor charges or simple infractions, or fully remove them from their records through expungement. This can be incredibly beneficial, as it can allow them to reenter the workforce without having to face unfair scrutiny due to their past offenses.
Offenses eligible for reduction or expungement include:
- Possession of marijuana or concentrates
- Cultivation of marijuana
- Possession of marijuana for sale
- Transportation of marijuana for sale and unlawful gifting
Likewise, many older marijuana felonies may now be reduced to misdemeanors, thereby restoring certain civil liberties such as gun rights, the right to vote, and the ability to hold state licenses to eligible convicted felons. With that being said, these expungements are not automatic and may be denied by a judge, making it crucial for defendants to retain the services of a powerful attorney to maximize their chances of success.
Eliminate Your Past Marijuana Convictions Today
If you are currently serving a sentence for a minor marijuana offense or are being held back by a past marijuana-related drug crime, get in touch with a knowledgeable Santa Rosa criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. today. Having successfully represented thousands of accused clients, our team of Super Lawyers® can provide the powerful support you need to seal your drug offense and help you move forward with a clean slate.
Call (707) 418-5352 or fill out an online form today to schedule a free case evaluation.