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Unlike other drugs, California allows those over 21 to possess, use, and grow marijuana for recreational purposes in doses up to 28.5 grams, under California Proposition 64. However, there are still restrictions on how many plants a person can grow and where they must keep them. Continue reading to learn more about when cultivating marijuana is legal and illegal in California.
If you are facing drug charges in California, contact Attorney Dod of Dod Law. As an experienced drug crimes defense attorney, he can investigate the charges and defend you in court against aggressive prosecution.
When Is it Legal to Grow Marijuana in California?
While anyone over the age of 21 is legally allowed to cultivate marijuana in California, they must follow specific rules and regulations. A cultivator must follow any local ordinances, and they cannot grow more than six plants at a single private residence. It is important to remember that spouses or partners sharing a residence can only grow six plants at once. They are not allowed to grow six plants each. Additionally, the individual must grow marijuana indoors in a locked space where the plants are not visible to the public.
When Is it Illegal to Grow Marijuana Plants in California?
It is an infraction under Health and Safety Code 11358 for someone under 21 to grow weed. The crime is punishable by a maximum fine of $100. The statute also states that it is a misdemeanor for anyone over 21 to grow more than six plants. It is punishable by up to six months in jail or a fine of up to $500.
There may be cases where illegally growing marijuana could be a felony under the statute. Mainly, this is when people grow more than six plants and:
- Have a violent felony conviction on their record
- Are registered sex offenders
- Have two or more prior convictions under HS 11358
- Violate environmental laws
Felony violations may be punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000.
Drug Treatment Sentencing
Per California Penal Code 1000 PC, some people convicted of unlawful cultivation may be eligible to postpone a prison sentence to attend and complete drug treatment. You might be eligible for this if the charge was a non-violent offense and you’re a first-time offender.
Defenses to Accusations of Unlawful Cultivation
A defendant can beat criminal cultivation charges, but it will be challenging to do without the assistance of a San Diego defense attorney. There are three common defenses your attorney could use to beat these charges.
- The plant was not marijuana: HS 11358 only applies to growing marijuana, so it is a valid defense to say that you were growing a different plant.
- The plant belonged to another: An accused person is only guilty under this statute if they grew excessive marijuana. If your attorney can prove that the weed belongs to someone else, a court may drop the charges.
- Unlawful search and seizure: Authorities cannot search and take property without a valid search warrant. If they do not have a warrant, they must have a legal excuse for searching. When police unlawfully gather evidence, an attorney can get that evidence excluded from court.
Hiring a defense attorney is your best chance to beat these charges.
Speak to a Skilled San Diego Drug Crime Defense Attorney
If you are facing illegal marijuana cultivation charges in California, contact Dod Law. State prosecutors take these charges seriously and will seek to convict. Attorney Dod can protect your best interests in court and pretrial negotiations. With over 17 years of experience, you can count on Attorney Dod to fight for a favorable outcome. To schedule a free consultation, call (619) 814-5110 or complete our contact form.