Possessing Marijuana For Sales – California Health & Safety Code 11359
Those individuals who are selling marijuana in today's society typically have a pretty strong chance to avoid a criminal conviction as long as they are lawfully selling the marijuana. Now that marijuana use and even sale has been legalized in California, there's definitely ways to avoid any type of a criminal conviction.
There's just certain rules that have to be complied with if you're going to sell marijuana and as long as you're complying with those rules and you've got your state license and you're paying taxes and you're doing things the right way, you really shouldn't have any issues.
For individuals that are greedy and try to get involved with too much marijuana, have weapons and do things the wrong way, then they're being arrested and charged with selling marijuana and end up in criminal court.
One big change in the law is that for many years marijuana sales was really on par in a lot of respects with selling the other harder drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, PCP, but now it's been made into a straight misdemeanor. That does a number of things.
One, it's not as serious so judges and prosecutors don't take it as serious; and it's not a felony any longer so you don't get a felony conviction on your record which prevents you from owning, using or possessing any weapons — which is obviously a big problem.
It prevents you from voting and really puts a horrible stigma in your life when you get that felony conviction. They're also no longer looking at prison time, which selling drugs, there's always been a potential to be sent to prison.
Marijuana Sales and Federal Law
So, marijuana use, marijuana possession and marijuana sales has really been watered down by the legislature, the California voters and society. Not only in California, not only in Los Angeles but across the nation laws are changing left and right.
The only difference is that the federal government is still making it illegal. So, it's dangerous to sell marijuana even at the state level because of what the feds have done.
So, if you've got a case where you're charged with selling marijuana and they're saying you're doing it illegally, obviously you want to get an attorney to protect all of the rights that you have and the various things that can happen to you and to see if it is a defensible case that you can utilize a defense that will either get the case dismissed or lessened and keep you out of jail.
If you have situation where you have a prior felony conviction for possessing marijuana for sale pursuant to Health & Safety Code 11359, I suggest you get to an attorney because that felony that you have on your record can be reduced down to a misdemeanor because the law related to felonies selling marijuana is retroactive and so, you can really get that misdemeanor under most circumstances.
Obviously, you're going to need to hire an attorney. A motion's going to have to be filed. Your attorney is going to have to appear in court on your behalf. A lot of times you could even avoid appearing and your attorney can take care of it for you.
Misdemeanor vs Felony Drug Charges
So, you definitely want to take advantage of the opportunity to get that misdemeanor if you can because it restores so many rights, takes a felony off your record and really puts you in a much better position to end up with a misdemeanor conviction that you expunge instead of the felony conviction that really makes you look bad and puts you in a bad position in your life.
Trying to get a job or trying to start a career, and it even puts you in a bad position if you're in a situation where you pick up a new charge. You don't want that new case. That's crucial.
So, if you've got a possession with intent to sell marijuana or a sales of marijuana case, first thing is, hire the attorney. Let the attorney assess whether you have any defenses that might be applicable to your case — whether the case can be lessened down to something that's not as serious. It doesn't put you in as much criminal jeopardy or whether the case can be dismissed outright.