Need Legal Help for Your Business? Find It Here
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Need Legal Help for Your Business? Find It Here

When my husband I decided to start a business, we didn't think about the legal aspects of doing so. We didn't realize that purchasing business insurance, getting building permits and making investments all required some type of legal advice. But after speaking to a close friend, who also happens to own a small business, we contacted a business attorney. Now, we have the legal smarts to make the best decisions for our business, as well as the legal representation in case something happens to our company. I hope that you find my blog helpful and informative for your own business. It's a great resource for finding the legal advice, resources and guidance you need to get your company up and running.

Need Legal Help for Your Business? Find It Here

Have A Minor Pot Conviction On Your Criminal Record? What You Need To Know About California's Proposition 64

Ronnie Mills

While many people have been jailed for possessing very small quantities of marijuana, the plant has been medically proven to help people suffering from a variety of illnesses. Unfortunately, in many states, you can get arrested if you are caught with the substance regardless of whether you are using it for medicinal purposes or for recreation. However, some states like California have decriminalized marijuana possession in some instances.

If you live in the Golden State and have charges against you that dated before California voters passed legislation in late 2016 to decriminalize marijuana, you may be able to get those charges reduced or dropped altogether. You should familiarize yourself with the law, Proposition 64, and find out how you can get help by discussing the matter with a DUI attorney. The following guide can be your primer for this process and the basics of the law.

Previous Penalties

Before Proposition 64, nearly a half million people had been arrested for marijuana-related offenses over the span of a decade. On a yearly basis, the number of arrests declined after state citizens voted in favor of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, also known as Proposition 215. This act allowed the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes if purchased via state-approved marijuana dispensaries and if you have a physician recommendation.

However, thousands of people were still arrested each year for possession, putting misdemeanors and felonies on the records of those charged with a pot-related crime.

Even if you gave someone a very small quantity of marijuana, you could have gone to jail. If you grew even one cannabis plant, you could be charged for a felony. Furthermore, studies showed that there were vast racial disparities in the arrests made for marijuana-related crimes.

Proposition 64 Basics

In the elections of November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64 by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent. The basic tenets of the law include:

  • The ability of adults over 21 to legally grow up to six plants
  • Legal possession of up to an ounce
  • Reduction of some marijuana-related activity from felonies to misdemeanors
  • Prohibition of local governments from infringing a citizen's rights to possess legal amounts of marijuana under the new law
  • Commercial sale of marijuana by state-licensed businesses

Most parts of the law went into effect the day after the election while commercial sales go into effect in 2018.

Getting Help

Because the legal possession portions of Proposition 64 went into effect immediately, those arrested for crimes related to the substance should seriously consider getting help to have their charges reduced or dropped. You may be able to get some convictions expunged.

Lawyers who have successfully prosecuted marijuana-related cases can provide you with a confidential consultation to discuss your case. There is no reason you should have to go through life with a pot-related conviction on your record, even if it is a misdemeanor.

You want to make sure future employers have no reason to deny you employment if you are fully qualified for job. Furthermore, you will not have worry about a potential landlord denying you a lease because you have a pot conviction. In addition, you could be denied certain types of federal assistance, like public housing if you have a drug conviction on your criminal record.

Things to Remember

While recreational users of marijuana can rejoice at the passage of Proposition 64, there are some things to keep in mind. California has taken a big step forward in decriminalizing the substance but there are federal laws that you need to be aware of when possessing or consuming cannabis.

When you enter federal property, you are no longer protected by state laws. So, as you work to reduce your penalties for previous charges, be sure to not consume or possess cannabis on federal property including post offices, national parks, public airports and any type of federal building.