Drugs

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DRUG LAWS IN CALIFORNIA

1. In general

Is it illegal to be on drugs in public?

You may not be so high on drugs (or alcohol) that you are unable to exercise care for your own or others’ safety. It is also illegal if your intoxication leads you to block or prevent the use of the sidewalk or public street.1Cal Penal Code Sec 647(f)

Can I drive while on a legal drug?

It is illegal to drive while “under the influence” of any drug, whether legal or illegal.2Vehicle Code Sec 23152 It is also illegal to actively smoke pot while driving.

2Marijuana

Is it legal to purchase or use marijuana in California?Marijuana

In California, if you are 21 or older, it is legal to purchase and use a certain amount of marijuana (aka cannabis) for any purpose, whether medical or recreational. You don’t need any special card or anything to buy or use it. (However, the state government needs some time to set up the system for licensing stores to sell recreational marijuana, so you can’t currently buy recreational pot from a store. And you can’t currently buy from a medical marijuana shop without a medical marijuana card. Recreational pot will be available by Jan 1, 2018, although it could be sooner than that.)

This new law went into effect when voters passed Prop 64 in November 2016.3Prop 64

How much can I possess and grow?

You may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and you may cultivate up to 6 marijuana plants in your home. Plants at home must not be visible from a public place.4Possessing more than 1 ounce or more than 6 plants at home can subject you to up to 6 months in jail and/or $500 fine

You may NOT possess any pot on the grounds of a school, day care center, or youth center while children are present.

Can I smoke pot in public?

No, you will be subject to a $100 fine.

Can I take pot on a plane?

No, you can’t take pot across state laws, under federal law.

What if I’m not 21 yet?

If you are not 21, you may not legally purchase, use or possess ANY marijuana.5If you are between 18-21 you can get fined $100 for use or possession; if you are younger than 18 you can be referred to drug counseling and community service

BUT if you are 18 or older, it is legal to purchase, use and cultivate marijuana for medical purposes, but you need a “written or oral recommendation” (generally, a prescription) from a doctor. Patients and/or their primary caregivers may possess no more than 8 ounces of dried marijuana and/or 6 mature (or 12 immature) marijuana plants, unless larger amounts are recommended by a doctor.6California Compassionate Use Act 1996, Cal. Health & Saf. Code, § 11362.5 (1996) (codifying voter initiative Prop. 215); Cal. Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11362.7 – 11362.83 (2003) (codifying SB 420)

What are the laws regarding selling marijuana?

Currently in California it is only legal to sell medical marijuana, and you must get a license to do so. By Jan 1, 2018 (possibly sooner), it will be legal to sell recreational marijuana, but you must get a license to do so.7Selling marijuana without a license can subject you to up to 6 months in county jail, and/or $500 fine, and/or civil penalties for each transaction! So don’t do it.

In the city of L.A., you may not open a new pot shop, but those that were established by 2007 are legal.8LAMC Sec. 45.19.6.3; created by voters who passed Proposition D

Doesn’t federal law still say marijuana is illegal?

Technically, yes, federal law prohibits marijuana use and possession even for medical use. But currently the federal government has decided NOT to enforce these laws against those who are following state law. Could that change under a Trump administration? Possibly…

See more on marijuana laws and procedures here.

3. Prescription Drugs

Are there any restrictions on doctors giving out prescription medications?

Yes. Before initially prescribing (and every 4 months thereafter) narcotic painkillers like Oxycontin, Vicoden, etc., and steroids, sleep aids, and psychiatric medication, doctors and nurses must now check an electronic database for signs of drug abuse.9SB 482

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What You Need To Know About Alcohol Laws

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