On Nov. 8, California voters can choose to vote for or against Proposition 64, which would legalize recreational marijuana use for adults over the age of 21.
What does it mean if Prop 64 passes? Essentially, it would mean that any person over the age of 21 could possess, buy, or transport up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants in his or her home.
However, while the common way to describe the effect of the law is to say that it “legalizes” marijuana, it is important to know that it would not make every act involving marijuana legal. So how would passing Prop 64 affect marijuana crimes in California?
“Legalize” Does Not Mean Everything Goes
One example of a law that will not change is the law for driving under the influence of marijuana. If Prop 64 passes, California drivers would still be subject to arrest for driving under the influence of marijuana. Unlike cases involving alcohol, where a driver’s blood-alcohol content can be tested, there is no easy, reliable test for police to use to determine whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana.
If the law is passed, it will not mean that any person will be able to use pot anywhere he or she likes. The law will allow marijuana use only in private homes, either indoors or outdoors where it is not visible to the public. The use of pot will also be allowed in businesses that have been licensed appropriately, similar to bars that serve alcohol. Smoking pot or ingesting pot edibles in public could lead to criminal charges even if this law is passed.
Private individuals would be able to grow their own plants, but cities and counties can require permits, fees, and inspections to prevent fire risk, excess water use, and mold growth. Prop 64 will also strictly control who can sell marijuana. Any person who wishes to sell marijuana must obtain a license to sell. Those licenses will not be issued until after Jan. 1, 2018.
What If I Have a Marijuana Conviction Before the Election?
If you have previously been convicted of a marijuana-related crime in California, Prop 64 may help you clean your record. If it is passed, you should hire an experienced attorney right away to discuss the benefits of this law for you.
Your lawyer may be able to petition the court to have your sentence reduced if you are currently serving out a sentence for a marijuana crime conviction covered under Prop 64. If you have completed your sentence, your lawyer may be able to have your conviction reduced or erased on your criminal record.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you have been arrested for a marijuana crime or if you are seeking relief from a previous conviction, you should contact an experienced attorney right away. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients accused of marijuana-related crimes. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.