Possession of More Than an Ounce of Marijuana for Personal Use - HS 11357(c)

Simple possession of more than one ounce is a misdemeanor punishable with jail time and/or a fine of up to $500.

Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than six months or by a fine of not more than $500, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Health and Safety Code, Section 11357(c)
PROSECUTION MUST PROVE:
  1. Unlawful possession
  2. Knowledge of its presence
  3. Knowledge of the substance’s nature or character as a controlled substance;
  4. The controlled substance was marijuana;
  5. AND
  6. The marijuana possessed by the defendant weighed more than an ounce.

CALCRIM 2375. Simple Possession of Marijuana: Misdemeanor (Health & Saf. Code, § 11357(c)) 2375. Simple Possession of Marijuana: Misdemeanor (Health & Saf. Code, § 11357(c)) provides: “The defendant is charged [in Count ] with possessing more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, a controlled substance [in violation of Health and Safety Code section 11357(c)]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1. The defendant [unlawfully] possessed a controlled substance; 2. The defendant knew of its presence; 3. The defendant knew of the substance’s nature or character as a controlled substance; 4. The controlled substance was marijuana; AND 5. The marijuana possessed by the defendant weighed more than 28.5 grams.”

“Marijuana means all or part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, whether growing or not, including the seeds and resin extracted from any part of the plant. [It also includes every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin.] [It does not include the mature stalks of the plant; fiber produced from the stalks; oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant; any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake; or the sterilized seed of the plant, which is incapable of germination.”

“The People do not need to prove that the defendant knew which specific controlled substance (he/she) possessed, only that (he/she) was aware of the substance’s presence and that it was a controlled substance.”

“Two or more people may possess something at the same time. A person does not have to actually hold or touch something to possess it. It is enough if the person has (control over it/ [or] the right to control it), either personally or through another person. Agreeing to buy a controlled substance does not, by itself, mean that a person has control over that substance.”

One defense to this crime is the Compassionate use Act:

“Possession of marijuana is lawful if authorized by the Compassionate Use Act. In order for the Compassionate Use Act to apply, the defense must produce evidence tending to show that (his/her) possession or cultivation of marijuana was (for personal medical purposes/ [or] as the primary caregiver of a patient with a medical need) with a physician’s recommendation or approval. The amount of marijuana possessed must be reasonably related to the patient’s current medical needs. If you have a reasonable doubt about whether the defendant’s possession or cultivation of marijuana was unlawful under the Compassionate Use Act, you must find the defendant not guilty.”

Contact the Johnson Criminal Law Group today to discuss your case and defenses today.

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