The most frequent drug offenses are meth and marijuana. Heroin is rare, but meth is fairly rampant, and marijuana is pretty common, but marijuana laws are changing, and marijuana isn't the problem that it used to be.
What Are The Laws Regarding Marijuana Use And Possession In California?
If you have a medical marijuana card in California, it's legal to possess marijuana, with no limitations if it's for medical use. Up until recently, it had been illegal to even transport it in your car, but they recently changed that so they're not enforcing that as a transportation offense. The laws of marijuana have changed greatly, for example, recently, there was a young high school student sitting in his car in a parking lot; he wasn't smoking but had some marijuana in the car, a very small amount, and was charged with an infraction for marijuana possession.
Typically, having less than an ounce of marijuana is now charged as an infraction, which is more or less like a traffic ticket with a fine involved. But it can be a problem for having it on your record, but it can be automatically expunged after two years.
Marijuana offenses are still enforced; they're just not enforced as much as they used to be, and it's probably because the cops and police officials just don't want to spend that much time on simple marijuana offenses. It's easy to get a medical marijuana card in California. You can even do it online: a doctor will interview you; and if you qualify, you pay $40 bucks and will receive a letter to take, along with your ID, to the local county health department that will issue you a medical marijuana card.
There's a senior living community called Rossmoor in Monarch Creek, California. It's a fairly large community with about 8,000 residents, and they have a medical marijuana club. There are many benefits of medical marijuana for seniors, such as insomnia and arthritis pain. So when you have seniors starting to use marijuana in large numbers, you know the laws are going to change. Just recently, there was a push to change the federal drug schedules on marijuana from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 2 drug, which would greatly change the federal approach towards marijuana possession, but the DEA refused to do it. Technically, in California, marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug, but it's just not enforced that way, but that will likely change.
How Is A Drug Charge Determined To Be A Misdemeanor Or A Felony In California?
If it's a Schedule 1 drug and you're caught in possession of it, you're probably facing felony charges. However, some of these cases are called Wobblers, which means they can wobble from a felony to a misdemeanor. Usually, it depends on the amount and whether it looks like you're a drug dealer. For instance, they may find a small amount of drugs, but they may also find a lot of indicia of sales, such as notebooks with sales records, packaging materials and scales; then they would probably charge you with possession with intent to sell, and that's a serious offense.
That's a felony, and it doesn't really depend that much on the amount, but it could. But the actual possession, whether it's a felony or a misdemeanor, usually depends on the amount and the type of drug. Some drugs, like meth, are generally charged as a felony. However, there is a big push to establish drug courts in California where people, who are addicted to drugs, can be enrolled in rehab instead of sending them to jail.
Offenders usually have to plead guilty to a possession crime, but they are not sentenced. They are ordered to take certain programs and go to counseling; and then after a successful period of time of doing that, the cases are dismissed. These drug courts have been pretty successful in turning people's lives around that had been addicted to drugs, and that's a good program.
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