Possession of Marijuana
California Health & Safety Code 11357 HS

Did the cops bust you for possessing marijuana? You came to the right place for help and for answers.

In this article, our California marijuana attorneys1 answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Health and Safety Code 11357 HS California's possession of marijuana law which include:

1.  The Elements of a Marijuana Possession Charge

1.1. Possession

1.2. Knowledge of possession

1.3. Knowledge that marijuana is a drug

1.4. Useable quantity

2. What are the Penalties for Personally Possessing Marijuana in California?

2.1. Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana

2.2. Possession of more than one ounce

2.3. Possession of concentrated cannabis

2.4. Additional penalties

2.5. Alternative sentencing - drug diversion

3. How Do I Fight A California Health and Safety 11357 HS Charge?

3.1. You possessed "medical marijuana"

3.2. Additional legal defenses



If, after reading this article, you would like more information about California marijuana laws, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

You may also find helpful information in our related articles on California Drug Crimes; Health and Safety Code 11358 HS California's Law Against Cultivating Marijuana; Health and Safety Code 11359 HS California's Law Against Possessing Marijuana for Sales; Health and Safety Code 11360 HS California's Law Against Transporting or Selling Marijuana; Health and Safety Code 11362.5 California's Compassionate Use Act ("Medical Marijuana"); California Legal Defenses; California Search and Seizure Laws; California Search Warrants; 1538.5 PC Motion to Suppress Evidence; Infraction; Wobblers; Misdemeanors; Felonies; California Proposition 36; Penal Code 1000 PC Deferred Entry of Judgment ("DEJ"); and California Drug Courts.

1.  The Elements of a Marijuana Possession Charge

Health and Safety Code 11357 HS prohibits possession marijuana for personal use.2 A personal possession charge is its own offense.  It is not the same as a violation of

In order for the prosecutor to convict you of HS 11357 California's "personal possession of marijuana" law, he/she must prove the following facts (otherwise known as "elements" of the crime):

  1. you possessed marijuana,
  2. you knew that you possessed marijuana,
  3. you knew it was a drug, and
  4. you possessed enough marijuana that it could be used as a drug.3

Let's take a closer look at some of these terms and phrases to gain a better understanding of their legal definitions.

1.1. That you possessed marijuana

Possession of the marijuana may be actual or constructive.4

"Actual" possession is the same as physical possession.  You would be in actual possession of marijuana if, for example, you carried a joint in your pocket, your purse or your backpack.

You have "constructive" possession of marijuana when you either exercise control over marijuana or have the right to do so.  You can exercise constructive possession by yourself or jointly with another.

Examples:

  • You have constructive possession over the pot that you keep in your dresser drawer.
  • You and your roommate share constructive possession over the weed that you both keep in your kitchen pantry.
  • However, simply agreeing to buy marijuana does not give you constructive possession over it.5 In this type of situation, you do not violate this law unless and until you take physical possession of the drug.

    And with respect to the drug itself, Health and Safety Code 11357 prohibits personally possessing marijuana or concentrated cannabis.  "Concentrated cannabis"...commonly referred to as hashish or hash...is "the separated resin, whether crude or purified, from the cannabis plant."6 This distinction is only relevant at the time of sentencing which is discussed below under Section 2. What are the Penalties for Personally Possessing Marijuana in California?

    1.2. You knew that you possessed the drug

    If you didn't know that you were in possession of marijuana, you aren't guilty of this offense.  Suppose, for example, that you borrow a friend's jacket and, unbeknownst to you, he left some weed in one of the pockets. The cops stop and search you, and discover the pot. Even though you technically possessed marijuana, you weren't aware of its presence, and therefore you haven't committed a crime.

    Similarly, if your friend left his stash of weed in the compartment of your passenger side door...and you didn't know it was there...you are not guilty of possessing marijuana.

    1.3. You knew the marijuana was a drug

    You must be aware that marijuana is a drug in order to be liable under Health & Safety Code 11357.  It isn't necessary that you know its precise chemical makeup, only that it is an illegal drug.7 This particular element of the crime is usually easily satisfied by the prosecution. Rarely would a person possess weed without realizing what it is.

    1.4. You possessed a useable quantity of marijuana

    If you only possess marijuana residue or useless traces of the drug, that isn't sufficient to sustain a conviction...it simply indicates prior use.  You must possess enough marijuana so that it may be used as a drug.  However, that is not to say that there has to be enough...in either amount or strength...to produce the "effect" it is ordinarily expected to have on you.8

    2. What are the Penalties for Personally Possessing Marijuana in California?

    The penalties for Health & Safety Code 11357 vary, depending on the exact circumstances of your offense.

    2.1. Possessing less than one ounce of marijuana

    As of January 1, 2011, possessing no more than one ounce or 28.5 grams of marijuana...other than concentrated cannabis...is an infraction, punishable by a maximum fine of $100. This law is stated in Health & Safety Code 11357 (b).9

    However, if you are over 18 and possess less than one ounce of marijuana (other than concentrated cannabis) on school grounds while the school is open for classes or school-related activities, you face a misdemeanor punishable by up to ten days in a county jail and a maximum $500 fine.10

    And if you are under 18 and are convicted under these same circumstances, you face a maximum fine of $250 for a first offense.  A second offense is punishable by up to $500 and a maximum ten-day commitment to a juvenile detention facility.11

    2.2. More than one ounce of marijuana

    If you are convicted of possessing more than one ounce of marijuana...and again, more than one ounce of marijuana other than concentrated cannabis...you face a maximum of six months in the county jail and a maximum fine of $500.12

    2.3. Possession of concentrated cannabis

    Possessing any amount of concentrated cannabis...that is, any amount that is still consistent with a personal possession charge and not a sales charge...is what's known as a wobbler.  A "wobbler" is an offense that the prosecutor may file as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on

    1. the specific facts of your case, and
    2. your criminal history.

    A conviction for this offense as a misdemeanor subjects you to a maximum $500 fine and up to one year in a county jail.  A conviction for this offense as a felony subjects you to 16 months, or two or three years in the California state prison.13

    2.4. Additional penalties

    If you are under 21 but over 13...and are convicted of any of the offenses outlined above...your driver's license or privilege to obtain a driver's license will be suspended for one year.  This penalty will be imposed for each conviction under this law or any other drug-related law.14

    If, however, you are not convicted of any further drug or alcohol-related offenses within a 12-month period following your initial conviction, the court has the discretion to override the suspension.15

    2.5. Alternative sentencing - drug diversion

    Health and Safety Code 11357 HS California's law against personally possessing marijuana is an offense that qualifies for California drug diversion.

    "Drug diversion" refers to alternative sentencing programs that allow eligible defendants who are charged with nonviolent personal possession drug offenses to participate in drug rehabilitation.  Those who successfully complete rehab typically have their drug charge(s) dismissed.

    California's drug diversion programs are administered through

    And because an individual who participates in drug diversion is usually permitted to do so in lieu of incarceration, a personal possession charge is often a charge worth fighting for.

    As Oakland criminal defense attorney Cameron Bowman18 explains, "Clients who are charged with marijuana sales offenses are ineligible from participating in a California drug diversion program.  This means that a sales conviction will typically result in a state prison sentence.  When one of our clients is charged with a marijuana sales offense, we will therefore do our best to negotiate a reduced plea to a personal possession charge in order to allow him/her to enter drug rehab and to secure a dismissal of his/her charges."

    3. How Do I Fight A California Health and Safety 11357 HS Charge?

    Fortunately, there are a variety of legal defenses that are applicable to a personal possession charge that a skilled California marijuana lawyer can present on your behalf.

    3.1. You possessed "medical marijuana"

    If you are authorized to possess "medical marijuana", that is probably your strongest defense.

    Health and Safety Code 11362.5 California's Compassionate Use Act authorizes the use of medical marijuana. If you possess marijuana...which may include concentrated cannabis...because

    • you have personal medical needs or are the primary caregiver of a patient with a medical need and possess the drugs exclusively for that patient, and


    • a doctor recommended or approved marijuana to help treat the condition,

    you are not guilty of a crime.  However, in order for a medical marijuana defense to apply, you must only possess an amount of marijuana that is reasonably related to the patient's medical needs.19

    3.2. Additional legal defenses

    If you don't qualify for a medical marijuana defense, do not despair.  There are still a variety of defenses that apply to Health & Safety Code 11357 HS.  Examples of some of the most common include (but are not limited to):

    You didn't possess the marijuana

    If you didn't possess marijuana, you aren't guilty of this crime.  This might be the case if, for example, the police mistook someone else's pot for your own.  Clearly, this defense works best when you are not in physical control of the drug.  But even then, you could still potentially claim

    • the marijuana belonged to a friend whose clothes, bag, etc. you were borrowing, or
    • someone slipped the pot into your pocket, etc. to avoid his/her own criminal liability.

    You didn't know you possessed the marijuana

    Similar to above, even if you did physically possess a joint...but were not aware you were doing so...you haven't violated the law.  Possession of marijuana is not enough by itself to sustain a conviction.  If the prosecutor can't additionally prove that you knew you possessed the drug, then you are entitled to an acquittal.

    Referring back to an earlier example, if a friend leaves his pot in your car without your knowledge, you are not guilty of this offense.

    The marijuana was discovered during an illegal search and seizure

    Often times, marijuana-related offenses...and for that matter, most California drug crimes...trigger illegal search and seizure issues.  For example, police routinely violate California's search and seizure laws when they seize drugs by

    • executing a search without a valid California search warrant,
    • searching a location that is beyond the scope of a valid warrant, and/or
    • initiating an illegal stop.

    When any of these issues arise, your California marijuana attorney will likely file a Penal Code 1538.5 PC motion to suppress evidence which, if successful, could result in a dismissal...or at the very least...a significant reduction of your charge(s).

    Call us for help...
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    If you or loved one is charged with Health & Safety Code 11357 HS possession of marijuana and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

    Additionally, our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys are available to answer any questions about Nevada's possession of marijuana laws.  For more information, we invite you to contact our local attorneys at one of our Nevada law offices, located in Reno and Las Vegas.20

    Legal References:

    1 Our California marijuana attorneys have local Los Angeles law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier.  We have additional law offices conveniently located throughout the state in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

    2 Health and Safety Code 11357 HS California's law against possession of marijuana for personal use.  ("(a) Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses any concentrated cannabis shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than one year or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment, or shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison. (b) Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100). (c) Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment. (d) Except as authorized by law, every person 18 years of age or over who possesses not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, upon the grounds of, or within, any school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12 during hours the school is open for classes or school-related programs is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than 10 days, or both. (e) Except as authorized by law, every person under the age of 18 who possesses not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, upon the grounds of, or within, any school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12 during hours the school is open for classes or school-related programs is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to the following dispositions: (1) A fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), upon a finding that a first offense has been committed. (2) A fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or commitment to a juvenile hall, ranch, camp, forestry camp, or secure juvenile home for a period of not more than 10 days, or both, upon a finding that a second or subsequent offense has been committed.")

    3 California Jury Instructions - Criminal (CALJIC) 16.030 -- California's law against personal possession of concentrated cannabis or marijuana.  ("(Health and Safety Code � 11357, subdivisions (a), (c), (d)). [Defendant is accused [in Count[s] ] of having violated section 11357, subdivision [(a)][(c)][(d)] of the Health and Safety Code, a misdemeanor.] Every person [18 years of age or older] who unlawfully possesses [any concentrated cannabis] [more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis,] [not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, upon the grounds of, or within any school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of the grades 1 through 12 during hours the school is open for classes or school-related programs] is guilty of a violation of Health and Safety Code section 11357, subdivision [(a)][(c)][(d)], a misdemeanor. There are two kinds of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. "Actual possession" requires that a person knowingly exercise direct physical control over a thing. "Constructive possession" does not require actual possession but does require that a person knowingly exercise control over or the right to control a thing, either directly or through another person or persons. One person may have possession alone, or two or more persons together may share actual or constructive possession. In order to prove this crime, each of the following elements must be proved:          1 The defendant exercised control over or the right to control a certain controlled substance;          2 The substance was [concentrated cannabis] [more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis,] [not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis]; 3 The defendant knew of its presence; 4 The defendant knew that the substance had a narcotic character; [and] 5 The substance was in an amount sufficient to be used as [concentrated cannabis] [marijuana] [; and] [.] [6 The defendant was 18 years of age or older and possessed the marijuana upon the grounds of, or within any school providing instruction in kindergarten or any           of grades 1 through 12 during hours the school is open for classes or school-related programs.]")

    4 See same.

    5 Judicial Council of California, Criminal Jury Instruction (CALCRIM) 2377 -- Simple possession of concentrated cannabis (Health & Saf. Code, � 11357(a)).  ("The defendant is charged [in Count ] with possessing concentrated cannabis, a controlled substance [in violation of Health and Safety Code section 11357(a)]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1 The defendant [unlawfully] possessed concentrated cannabis; 2 The defendant knew of its presence; 3 The defendant knew of the substance's nature or character as concentrated cannabis; AND 4 The concentrated cannabis was in a usable amount. A usable amount is a quantity that is enough to be used by someone as a controlled substance. Useless traces [or debris] are not usable amounts. On the other hand, a usable amount does not have to be enough, in either amount or strength, to affect the user. Concentrated cannabis means the separated resin, whether crude or purified, from the cannabis plant. [Two or more people may possess something at the same time.] [A person does not have to actually hold or touch something to possess it. It is enough if the person has (control over it/ [or] the right to control it), either personally or through another person.] [Agreeing to buy concentrated cannabis does not, by itself, mean that a person has control over that substance.] <Defense: Compassionate Use> [Possession of concentrated cannabis is lawful if authorized by the Compassionate Use Act. In order for the Compassionate Use Act to apply, the defendant must produce evidence tending to show that (his/her) possession or cultivation of concentrated cannabis was (for personal medical purposes/ [or] as the primary caregiver of a patient with a medical need) with a physician's recommendation or approval. The amount of concentrated cannabis possessed must be reasonably related to the patient's current medical needs. If you have a reasonable doubt about whether the defendant's possession or cultivation of concentrated cannabis was unlawful under the Compassionate Use Act, you must find the defendant not guilty. [A primary caregiver is someone who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of a patient who may legally possess or cultivate marijuana or concentrated cannabis.]]")

    6 See same.

    7 People v. Guy (1980) 107 Cal.App.3d 593, 600-601.  ("Defendant next contends that the court should have instructed the jury that the prosecution had to prove defendant knew the controlled substance he possessed was PCP.FN5 Defendant reasons that because he did not know the drug was PCP, "he did not have the requisite knowledge" to be convicted of possession of PCP for sale under Health and Safety Code section 11378.FN6 This position has been rejected in People v. Garringer (1975) 48 Cal.App.3d 827 [121 Cal.Rptr. 922].FN7 In that case the court wisely determined that knowledge for the purpose of conviction under Health and Safety Code section 11377, is knowledge of the controlled nature of the substance and not its precise chemical composition. Although the Garringer court dealt with mere possession rather than possession for sale, the knowledge element is the same.")  And although this case dealt with a different drug, the same logic applies to a California "personal possession of marijuana" charge.

    8 See CALCRIM 2377 -- Simple possession of marijuana, endnote 5, above.

    See also People v. Rubacalba (1993) 6 Cal.4th 62, 66.  ("These cases make clear, and we agree, that the Leal usable-quantity rule prohibits conviction only when the substance possessed simply cannot be used, such as when it is a blackened residue or a useless trace. It does not extend to a substance containing contraband, even if not pure, if the substance is in a form and quantity that can be used. No particular purity or narcotic effect need be proven.")

    9 See Health and Safety Code 11357 HS California's law against possessing marijuana, subdivision (b), endnote 2, above.

    10 See Health and Safety Code 11357 (d), endnote 2, above.

    11 See Health and Safety Code 11357 HS California's law against possessing marijuana, subdivision (e), endnote 2, above.

    12 See Health and Safety Code 11357 (c), endnote 2, above.

    13 See Health and Safety Code 11357 HS California's law against possessing marijuana, subdivision (a), endnote 2, above.

    See also Penal Code 18 PC -- Punishment for felony not otherwise prescribed; alternate sentence to county jail.  ("Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by any law of this state, every offense declared to be a felony, or to be punishable by imprisonment in a state prison, is punishable by imprisonment in any of the state prisons for 16 months, or two or three years; provided, however, every offense which is prescribed by any law of the state to be a felony punishable by imprisonment in any of the state prisons or by a fine, but without an alternate sentence to the county jail, may be punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or by a fine, or by both.")

    14 California Vehicle Code 13202.5 VC --  Drug and alcohol related offenses by person under age of 21, but aged 13 or over; suspension, delay, or restriction of driving privileges.  ("(a) For each conviction of a person for an offense specified in subdivision (d), committed while the person was under the age of 21 years, but 13 years of age or older, the court shall suspend the person's driving privilege for one year. If the person convicted does not yet have the privilege to drive, the court shall order the department to delay issuing the privilege to drive for one year subsequent to the time the person becomes legally eligible to drive. However, if there is no further conviction for an offense specified in subdivision (d) in a 12-month period after the conviction, the court, upon petition of the person affected, may modify the order imposing the delay of the privilege. For each successive offense, the court shall suspend the person's driving privilege for those possessing a license or delay the eligibility for those not in possession of a license at the time of their conviction for one additional year. As used in this section, the term "conviction" includes the findings in juvenile proceedings specified in Section 13105. (b) Whenever the court suspends driving privileges pursuant to subdivision (a), the court in which the conviction is had shall require all driver's licenses held by the person to be surrendered to the court. The court shall within 10 days following the conviction transmit a certified abstract of the conviction, together with any driver's licenses surrendered, to the department. (c)(1) After a court has issued an order suspending or delaying driving privileges pursuant to subdivision (a), the court, upon petition of the person affected, may review the order and may impose restrictions on the person's privilege to drive based upon a showing of a critical need to drive. (2) As used in this section, "critical need to drive" means the circumstances that are required to be shown for the issuance of a junior permit pursuant to Section 12513. (3) The restriction shall remain in effect for the balance of the period of suspension or restriction in this section. The court shall notify the department of any modification within 10 days of the order of modification. (d) This section applies to violations involving controlled substances or alcohol contained in the following provisions: (1) Article 7 (commencing with Section 4110) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of, and Sections 25658, 25658.5, 25661, and 25662 of, the Business and Professions Code. (2) Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code [which includes Health and Safety Code 11357 HS California's law against personal possession of marijuana]. (3) Section 191.5, subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 192.5, and subdivision (f) of Section 647 of the Penal Code. (4) Section 23103 when subject to Section 23103.5, Section 23140, and Article 2 (commencing with Section 23152) of Chapter 12 of Division 11 of this code. (e) Suspension, restriction, or delay of driving privileges pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any penalty imposed upon conviction of a violation specified in subdivision (d).")

    15 See same.

    16 California Penal Code 1210.1 PC (also known as Proposition 36) -- Possession of Controlled Substances; Probation; Exceptions.  ("(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and except as provided in subdivision (b), any person convicted of a nonviolent drug possession offense [such as a California personal possession of marijuana charge] shall receive probation. As a condition of probation the court shall require participation in and completion of an appropriate drug treatment program.

    17 California Penal Code 1000 PC -- Application of chapter to certain violations.  ("(a) This chapter shall apply whenever a case is before any court upon an accusatory pleading for a violation of Section 11350, 11357 [California's law against personal possession of marijuana], 11364, 11365, 11377, or 11550 of the Health and Safety Code, or subdivision (b) of Section 23222 of the Vehicle Code, or Section 11358 of the Health and Safety Code if the marijuana planted, cultivated, harvested, dried, or processed is for personal use, or Section 11368 of the Health and Safety Code if the narcotic drug was secured by a fictitious prescription and is for the personal use of the defendant and was not sold or furnished to another, or subdivision (d) of Section 653f if the solicitation was for acts directed to personal use only, or Section 381 or subdivision (f) of Section 647 of the Penal Code, if for being under the influence of a controlled substance, or Section 4060 of the Business and Professions Code, and it appears to the prosecuting attorney that, except as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 11357 of the Health and Safety Code, all of the following apply to the defendant: (1) The defendant has no conviction for any offense involving controlled substances prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense. (2) The offense charged did not involve a crime of violence or threatened violence. (3) There is no evidence of a violation relating to narcotics or restricted dangerous drugs other than a violation of the sections listed in this subdivision. (4) The defendant's record does not indicate that probation or parole has ever been revoked without thereafter being completed. (5) The defendant's record does not indicate that he or she has successfully completed or been terminated from diversion or deferred entry of judgment pursuant to this chapter within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense. (6) The defendant has no prior felony conviction within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense. (b) The prosecuting attorney shall review his or her file to determine whether or not paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, of subdivision (a) apply to the defendant. Upon the agreement of the prosecuting attorney, law enforcement, the public defender, and the presiding judge of the criminal division of the superior court, or a judge designated by the presiding judge, this procedure shall be completed as soon as possible after the initial filing of the charges. If the defendant is found eligible, the prosecuting attorney shall file with the court a declaration in writing or state for the record the grounds upon which the determination is based, and shall make this information available to the defendant and his or her attorney. This procedure is intended to allow the court to set the hearing for deferred entry of judgment at the arraignment. If the defendant is found ineligible for deferred entry of judgment, the prosecuting attorney shall file with the court a declaration in writing or state for the record the grounds upon which the determination is based, and shall make this information available to the defendant and his or her attorney. The sole remedy of a defendant who is found ineligible for deferred entry of judgment is a postconviction appeal. (c) All referrals for deferred entry of judgment granted by the court pursuant to this chapter shall be made only to programs that have been certified by the county drug program administrator pursuant to Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 1211) of Title 8, or to programs that provide services at no cost to the participant and have been deemed by the court and the county drug program administrator to be credible and effective. The defendant may request to be referred to a program in any county, as long as that program meets the criteria set forth in this subdivision. (d) Deferred entry of judgment for a violation of Section 11368 of the Health and Safety Code shall not prohibit any administrative agency from taking disciplinary action against a licensee or from denying a license. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to expand or restrict the provisions of Section 1000.4. (e) Any defendant who is participating in a program referred to in this section may be required to undergo analysis of his or her urine for the purpose of testing for the presence of any drug as part of the program. However, urine analysis results shall not be admissible as a basis for any new criminal prosecution or proceeding.")

    18 Oakland criminal defense attorney Cameron Bowman defends clients charged with California marijuana related charges throughout Northern California which includes (but is not limited to) the Santa Clara, Contra Costra, San Francisco and Alameda County courthouses.

    19 CALCRIM 2375 -- Simple possession of marijuana.  ("The defendant is charged [in Count ] with possessing more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, a controlled substance [in violation of Health and Safety Code section 11357(c)]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1 The defendant [unlawfully] possessed a controlled substance; 2 The defendant knew of its presence; 3 The defendant knew of the substance's nature or character as a controlled substance; 4 The controlled substance was marijuana; AND 5 The marijuana possessed by the defendant weighed more than 28.5 grams. [Marijuana means all or part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, whether growing or not, including the seeds and resin extracted from any part of the plant. [It also includes every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin.] [It does not include the mature stalks of the plant; fiber produced from the stalks; oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant; any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake; or the sterilized seed of the plant, which is incapable of germination.]] [The People do not need to prove that the defendant knew which specific controlled substance (he/she) possessed.] [Two or more people may possess something at the same time.] [A person does not have to actually hold or touch something to possess it. It is enough if the person has (control over it/ [or] the right to control it), either personally or through another person.] [Agreeing to buy a controlled substance does not, by itself, mean that a person has control over that substance.] < Defense: Compassionate Use> [Possession of marijuana is lawful if authorized by the Compassionate Use Act. The Compassionate Use Act allows a person to possess marijuana for personal medical purposes [or as the primary caregiver of a patient with a medical need] when a physician has recommended [or approved] such use. The amount of marijuana possessed must be reasonably related to the patient's current medical needs. The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not authorized to possess marijuana for medical purposes. If the People have not met this burden, you must find the defendant not guilty of this crime. [A primary caregiver is someone who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of a patient who may legally possess or cultivate marijuana.]]")

    See also CALCRIM 2377 -- Simple possession of concentrated cannabis (Health & Saf. Code, � 11357(a)), endnote 5, above.

    20 Please feel free to contact our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys Michael Becker and Mike Castillo for any questions relating to Nevada's marijuana laws. Our Nevada law offices are located in Reno and Las Vegas.

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