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Marijuana in CA: What’s Legal, What’s Not?

By San Diego Attorney on March 18, 2022

Proposition 64, the Adult Use Marijuana Act, permits the private use, sale, and cultivation of marijuana for people over the age of 21. There are still a number of restrictions regarding where it can be used, how it can be purchased, and the amount of marijuana that you are allowed to legally possess or cultivate.

Medical marijuana is allowed for people over the age of 18 with a physician recommendation or a county-issued marijuana identification card. Although marijuana is legal for adult use in California, it is still considered a Schedule 1 drug under federal law, and California residents may be subject to federal penalties for the use, sale, and possession of marijuana.

What Is Legal in California?

It’s legal for adults who are over the age of 21 to buy, consume, and possess limited amounts of marijuana. Adults are allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana or up to eight grams of concentrated marijuana. It is legal to consume marijuana in your private residence.

Marijuana can only be purchased at retail outlets licensed by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. You are permitted to give away up to one ounce of marijuana or up to eight grams of concentrated marijuana to a person who is over the age of 21. But the private sale or exchange of marijuana for any form of compensation is prohibited.

You are allowed to cultivate up to six cannabis plants at a private residence or on the grounds of your residence. Marijuana plants must be kept in a locked space that is not visible to the public. Cities and counties may prohibit outdoor cultivation.

Can Employers Test You for Marijuana?

Employers in California have the right to test employees for drugs. And employees can be fired if they fail a marijuana drug test. This is a concern for many people who legally use marijuana in California because marijuana continues to stay in a person’s system for an extended period of time.

If you are legally using medical marijuana, employers may be prevented from firing you because it’s a possible violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. But employers can legally screen potential employees and refuse to hire them based on a positive test for marijuana, even in cases of medical marijuana consumption.

What Is NOT Legal?

Laws restricting the consumption of marijuana include smoking, eating, or vaping. Marijuana can only be consumed in private places. It is illegal to operate a car, boat, or any type of motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana. If you are carrying marijuana in your car, it must be kept in a sealed, unopened container, or inside the trunk.

Even though it’s legal to use, property owners or landlords may ban the consumption of marijuana on their property. It’s illegal to transport marijuana across state lines, even if you are going to a state where it is legal.

You are not allowed to consume marijuana in California under any of the following circumstances:


The misuse of marijuana is subject to harsh penalties in California. The following offenses are all subject to jail time:

Charged With a Marijuana-Related Offense?

A criminal conviction can damage your job prospects and take away your freedom. At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, our firm is dedicated exclusively to defending Californians in criminal cases.

If you’ve been charged with drug-related offense, call (760) 630-2000 for a FREE consultation. We take action right away to protect your rights.

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Posted in: Drug Possession

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