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Marijuana Laws in Los Angeles and California

Facts on LA and California's Cannabis Laws Including Medical Marijuana Info

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Facts on Los Angeles and California's Marijuana Pot Cannabis Hemp Laws
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The Facts Regarding Marijuana Laws in Los Angeles, CA

  • Possession of 28.5 grams or less of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor for which one may be fined $100.
  • A gift of 28.5 grams or less of marijuana similarly results in the $100 fine.
  • Possession of over 28.5 grams of marijuana is still a misdemeanor. However, arrest for this may result in six months in jail time.
  • Cultivation of any amount of marijuana is a felony. If apprehended, the individual or group may thus be ordered to be incarcerated for 16-36 months.
  • Sale of marijuana (in any amount) is a felony and can result in two to four years of prison time.
  • California has decriminalized marijuana.

What does 'decriminalized' mean?

Usually this means that a first time marijuana possession offense does not carry any prison time or entail a criminal record (where small amounts amounts of the drug for personal consumption are concerned).


  • California has an active hemp industry which is authorized for hemp-related research.

    How does hemp differ from the marijuana that is smoked or eaten?

    Hemp is a variety of the plant species cannabis saliva L. that contains less than 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It is therefore not ingested for any psychedelic effects but used as an ingredient or component of certain products.

    Historically, hemp has been used as a component in the construction of rope, paper, paint, clothing and textiles. It is not uncommon these days to find it in cosmetics, food products (hemp milk), animal feed and plastics.

    Medical Marijuana Legality in Los Angeles and California

    Timeline of Marijuana Laws in Los Angeles, California

    Though marijuana has not be decriminalized on the federal level (in fact it is still classified in a category of hard drugs alongside LSD and heroine), its usage for medical purposes has been legalized in some states. California is one of just over a dozen states to make medical marijuana legal under Proposition 215.

    Proposition 215

    • Author: Dennis Peron (and his associates including a psychiatrist and nurse)
    • Date passed: November 5, 1996
    • Approval by voters: 58%
    • Summary: Prop 215 allows individuals with a valid doctor’s recommendation (not to be confused with a formal prescription) to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal medical use.
    • Amendment: The initiative has been expanded to protect the system of collective and cooperative distribution (Section 11362.5). Under the added sections, physicians are safe from being prosecuted for recommending marijuana to their patients.
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