Can You Legally Grow Cannabis At Home?
Regulations on cannabis use have been a hot topic of discussion in California for over a century. Cannabis grown for recreational use in California began in the early 1850’s during the Gold Rush. The first law put into place that prohibited Cannabis use in California was a 1913 amendment to the Poison Act of 1907. The first attempt to legalize cannabis use in California was in 1972 with Proposition 19, which was shot down by voters and legislatures. Cannabis use for medicinal purposes did not become legal in California until 1996 via Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act. This made California the first state to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation. California did not pass a law fully legalizing the use of recreational cannabis for those over the age of 21 until 2016 via Proposition 64. However, does this mean that you are allowed to grow cannabis at home in the state of California?
Proposition 64 passed in California on November 8th, 2016. The full name is The Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. This proposition provides the guidelines for all things cannabis within the state of California. Proposition 64 permits adults aged 21 years or older to possess and even grow specific amounts of marijuana for recreational use. In regard to cultivating marijuana, Proposition 64 states that:
- Those aged 21 years or older may grow up to six plants for recreational use per household, not per person living in the household.
- If the cannabis is grown for medicinal use, the patient is allowed to grow up to 6 mature plants or twelve immature plants. The patient can, however, grow a greater amount consistent with the patient’s reasonable needs.
- Cannabis plants must be grown in a private residence.
- All plants must be invisible from the view of public space.
- All plants must be in a locked space. If plants are grown outdoors, they must be locked in a secure space that is invisible from public view.
What Happens If I Violate These Rules?
Health and Safety Code (HS) 11358 is the California statute that defines the crime of illegal cultivation of marijuana. Punishments for violating HS 11358 can range from an infraction to a felony charge, depending on the age of the person growing the cannabis, how many plants they are growing, and their prior criminal history. HS 11358 states that each person who plants, cultivates, harvests, dries, or processes cannabis plants, or any part thereof, except as otherwise provided by law, shall be punished as follows:
- Each person between 18 – 20 years of age who plants, cultivates, harvests, dries, or processes less than six living cannabis plants shall be guilty of an infraction and a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100).
- Each person 18 years of age or over who plants, cultivates, harvests, dries, or processes more than six living cannabis plants shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than six months and/or fined up to five hundred dollars ($500).
- Each person over the age of 21 that grows or cultivates more than six marijuana plants can be charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to jail for a period of not more than 6 months and/or fined up to five hundred dollars ($500).
Violating HS 11358 can have more severe consequences. A person can be convicted of a felony charge, sentenced to up to 3 years in county jail, and be fined a maximum fine of $10,000 if:
- The person cultivating is a registered sex offender.
- The person cultivating has been convicted of any violent felonies or crimes in the past.
- The person cultivating has violated other California environmental laws or ordinances while cultivating cannabis.
- The person cultivating has two or more previous convictions for cultivating more than the legal limit of six plants.
Contact An Experienced Wallin & Klarich Criminal Defense Attorney Now
Violation of HS 11358 is a serious matter that can result in criminal charges.
If you or a loved one has been charged with illegal marijuana cultivation it is crucial that you contact a Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney immediately. Wallin & Klarich has been successfully defending those facing drug charges for over 40 years. We can help you, too. We will analyze the facts of your case and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the very best outcome possible in your case.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles, and San Diego, there is a skilled Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together. We will be there when you call