What to do if you find a lost pet

Found a Lost Pet? Here’s What you Have to Do

What to do if you find a lost pet

It happens all the time. A dog appears in your yard or you find a cat while your out on a walk. Even though the animal isn’t yours, you invite it into your home. At this point, you find yourself in the crossroads of an ethical decision. Do you keep the lost pet or do you make an effort to track down the owners?

Protocol for Finding Lost Pets

While you might think it’s up to you to decide if you want to keep the pet or find it’s owner, California lawmakers think differently. Many lawmakers are animal lovers who have gone through the agony of having a cherished pet disappear. In an effort to help lost pets reunite with their devastated owners, the lawmakers passed legislation that requires that you report the found animal within 48 hours of finding them.

You can report the lost animal to animal control, the local police, or a local vet clinic. This gives the owner a chance to contact the same organizations as they attempt to track down the missing pet. In most cases, as soon as you contact animal control or the vet clinic, you’ll find the owner has already reported the missing animal. At that point, the only thing left for you to do is arrange for the owner to pick up their missing pet.

Don’t be surprised if you’re told that you have to bring the pet in and have it scanned for a microchip.

What Happens if you Don’t Report a Found Pet

Not reporting that you’ve found a pet within 48 hours means you’re facing a misdemeanor charge. The good news is that if you have reported the found pet and no one claims them, you are free to keep the pet.

Tips for Reuniting Found Pets with their Owners

It’s is always in your best interest to reunite a found pet with its owner. This can be a problem if it doesn’t have a microchip. The good news is that you’re not out of options. In addition to contacting the local shelters, animal control, and vet clinics about the animal, you should also post it in local social media groups. These groups are often the first place devastated owners go when they’re trying to find their missing pet.

If you’re a pet owner, it’s in your best interest to get your pet microchipped. It drastically increases the chances of you enjoying a happy reunion if the worst happens and your pet somehow escapes.


Bail Bonds

Unwritten Camping Rules to Remember

Bail Bonds

Camping is wonderful. Camping provides you with the means to connect to the earth and nature while also bonding with family and friends. The best thing about camping is all the great memories you collect during each camping trip.

The next time you’re about to hit the woods for an epic camping trip, keep these unwritten camping rules in mind.

Leave Your Site Better than you Found It

It doesn’t matter if you’re a slob at home when you’re camping, you need to turn into a neat freak. Commit yourself to keeping each place you pitch your camp cleaner than when you found it. Not only does this ensure that the next set of campers who come along will also have a nice place to set up camp, but it also proves that you are environmentally aware.

Keeping the campsites cleaner than how you found it includes cleaning up after your pets.

Don’t Leave the Fire Burning

California has had more than its fair share of fires. The last thing you want is to be the cause of the next wildfire. Making sure you douse the fire whenever you’re not sitting in front of is important. It’s a good idea to throw some water over the fire pit so that there’s no risk of a stray spark setting off a big blaze.

When you’re camping, take a little while to study your campsite. If the area is full of dry leaves, underbrush, and grass, hold off on starting a fire. If a spark jumps out of your fire pit and sets some of the dry matter on fire, the entire campsite will go up in flames before you have time to spring into action.

The Camp Bathroom isn’t your Kitchen

A surprising number of people who use campgrounds treat the campground’s bathroom like it’s their kitchen. They actually use the sink to wash their dishes. If you’ve never done this, great! If you have, make sure you don’t do it again. Not only is the practice a health hazard, but it can also play havoc on the campgrounds plumbing system and it’s rude to other guests.

Be Respectful While Camping

You’re on a great camping experience and want to have a good time, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your good manners at home. If you’re using a campground, you need to be respectful.

That includes things like:

  • Not walking across someone else’s campsite
  • Staying calm and quiet during the night
  • Using low lights
  • Keeping your pets and your kids under control

Following these simple unwritten rules of camping will increase the amount of enjoyment you get on your next camping adventure.


bail bonds

Ponzi Schemes and California Law

bail bonds

Ponzi schemes aren’t legal in California. The state considers these financial cons a type of financial fraud. California’s judicial system is currently set up in such a way that it helps protect whistleblowers and consumers from getting caught up in the legal drama that always surrounds Ponzi schemes.

Understanding the Difference Between Ponzi Schemes and Pyramid Schemes

Many people mistakenly assume that Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes are the same things. While there are quite a few similarities, there are also a few key differences.

Ponzi schemes are usually handled by a single person. That individual convinces investors to take part in something, usually a promised investment, that never comes to fruition. Investors are convinced that they can’t possibly lose money and will make a huge return on their investment. It usually takes a great deal of time for the investors to realize that the person who is “managing their portfolio” is actually running a con and is keeping their money.

The Bernard Madoff debacle is a perfect example of a Ponzi scheme. Madoff created the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC and was able to convince several people he was the real deal. His pitch was so good, he amassed close to 5,000 investors. It’s believed that his take was close to $65 billion.

A pyramid scheme is more elaborate and involves more people, some of which don’t realize that they’re committing a crime. With a pyramid scheme, a single person not only recruits investors but also recruits people who gather even more investors. The original person is the very top of the pyramid in this particular scheme. Most pyramid schemes involve a type of product that does actually exist.

Business in Motion is an example of an illegal pyramid scheme. The program revolved around the sale of economical vacation plans. Each person who bought into the program invested $3,200. If the person was able to sell additional vacation packages to friends and family, they’d earn a $5,000 commission.

Approximately 2,000 people bought into the pyramid scheme. In 2008, they launched a class-action lawsuit against the program’s creator. A judge agreed that the program was a pyramid scheme and awarded the investors a $6.5 million ruling.

The Legal Ramifications of Running a Ponzi Scheme

Ponzi schemes are prohibited in California. The laws that address Ponzi schemes are found in the California Penal Code Section 319. The creators of Ponzi schemes in California can be charged with:

Charles Ponzi is considered the father of the Ponzi scheme. Ponzi was eventually convicted of mail fraud and spent 14 years in prison.


bail bonds

Pepper Spray: California’s Laws and Ownership Regulations

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If you consider pepper spray the perfect self-defense tool, you’re not alone. The world is full of people who feel safer when they have a small container of pepper spray in their pockets. The spray is affordable, easy to find, and legal. Or is it?

Who Can and Can’t Use Pepper Spray in California?

Most people don’t realize that California prohibits several people from using pepper spray. The people who aren’t allowed to purchase or use pepper spray includes:

  • Anyone who has been convicted of either a felony or any type of assault case
  • Anyone who has a known drug abuse problem
  • Minors

Sixteen-year-olds are the one exception to the “minors can’t use pepper spray” rule. A sixteen is allowed to both purchase and carry pepper spray but only when they’re in the presence of a legal guardian.

California’s Rules Regarding the Use of Pepper Spray

California lawmakers didn’t want a bunch of people walking around who were randomly spraying people with pepper spray. To keep things under control they took their time and carefully drew up a law that restricted how and when you can use pepper spray.

You’re not allowed to spray pepper spray directly into every person who made a pass at you. The only time you’re allowed to legally use the pepper spray is when you feel a need to defend yourself. You’re not even allowed to pull it out and hold it up in a silent warning to an attacker that they need to back off. If you get it out, you must prove that you needed to save yourself.

It is illegal to use your pepper spray canister as a projectile.

The pepper spray canister can not contain more than 2.5 ounces of the spray.

The Consequences of Breaking California’s Pepper Spray Law

If you’re unlucky enough to get caught breaking California’s pepper spray law, you could be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. If found guilty, possible sentences include:

  • A $1,000 fine
  • Incarceration for 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years

California won’t allow you to claim that the canister was empty or jammed as an excuse for breaking the pepper spray laws.

If you’re legally allowed to carry pepper spray in California, go ahead and do so, just be very careful that you keep the canister tucked into your purse or pocket. Only bring it out if you are genuinely convinced you need to defend yourself.


bail bonds

Strange Laws from California

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When people think about laws, they often think about sensible rules that make sense. However, it is important to remember that laws are made by people, and this means that some real nonsense can be made into actual laws that govern the people. This is true of every country, state, and city. California is no exception.

The Golden State is home to its own bits of weirdness thanks to some odd laws. Many of these laws were created long ago, and as such, show their age. Others are a little more recent, and while it may be possible to see what the lawmaker was going for, the wording of the law isn’t quite right.

Why Are These Even Laws?

California became a state on September 9, 1850. Over the last 170 year period, a lot of laws have been enacted and removed across the state’s 160,000 square miles. Some of the laws have made sense, such as don’t steal from people and don’t kill each other. Others are a bit stranger. Some of the weirder laws that are still technically active in California include:

  • A person can only wear cowboy boots in Blythe if they own two or more cows.
  • A person cannot wash someone else’s car without the owner’s permission in Los Angeles.
  • Cursing on a golf course in Long Beach is illegal.
  • Detonating a nuclear device in Chico will result in a $500 fine.
  • Flying a kite higher than 10 feet is illegal in the city of Walnut.
  • Garages in San Francisco are meant for storing personal vehicles and nothing else.
  • In California, it is illegal for women to drive cars while wearing housecoats.
  • In San Francisco, ugly people are not allowed to walk down the street.
  • It is illegal to drive in reverse in Glendale.
  • It is illegal to pour salt on Hermosa Beach streets.
  • Men and boys are not allowed to dress as women in Walnut unless it is for a play, or they receive a permit from the sheriff.
  • Peacocks always have the right of way in Arcadia.
  • San Diego homeowners can be fined $250 for having their Christmas lights up after February 2nd.
  • Vehicles without drivers cannot drive over 60 mph.
  • Visitors of Fresno city parks are prohibited from bothering lizards.
  • Women may not wear high heels in Carmel city limits.

What Are the Penalties?

With how easily broken some of these laws can be, some people may wonder what would happen to them if they did break any of these laws. Luckily, the enforceable laws are pretty unknown by most law enforcement agents. Even if they do know about these laws, no one in their right mind would fault someone for breaking these laws.

The only law on the above list that will result in penalties, and rightfully so, is detonating a nuclear device within Chico city limits. However, the consequences for doing so will probably be more than just a $500 fine. The person will have to pay $501, at least.

These Laws Are Still in the Books

What seems to happen with a lot of these odd laws, is that they just get laughed at and forgotten. No one in this day and age is going to fine someone for wearing cowboy boots when they don’t own a cow, or arrest a woman for wearing high heels. Most of these laws are so outlandish that a person has nothing to worry about. These laws serve only as jokes at this point.


Traffic offenses

What Are Traffic Offenses?

Traffic offenses

Driving is a privilege, not a right, and as such, a driver needs to be responsible behind the wheel. One simple mistake while driving is all it takes to completely change someone’s life forever. If a driver is not careful, they could be pulled over and ticketed for a traffic offense.

Traffic offenses are something that most drivers are familiar with. Even if they have never been pulled over before, a driver still knows about traffic offenses. This broad range of laws covers everything from minor infractions such as making illegal U-turns up to more severe crimes such as Driving under the influence (DUI).

What Are Some Common Traffic Offenses?

Due to the broad range of traffic violations, getting pulled over can always be a bit concerning for drivers. Even the most well-behaved drivers fear the worst when a law enforcement vehicle is driving behind them. Luckily, if a driver is obeying all of the traffic laws, then they have nothing to worry about.

However, if a person has been pulled over, they shouldn’t panic. Most traffic offenses are only infractions. This means that if a person is charged with one of these, they will only face a small fine, around a few hundred dollars, and no possibility of jail time.

A common infraction level offense that driver’s face regularly is speeding. Speeding is made illegal under California Vehicle Code (VC) 22350. Under this law, it is illegal for a person to drive over the posted speed limit for any given road or highway.

Another fairly common infraction is making an illegal U-turn. VC 22102 makes making a U-turn in a business district, any stretch of road where 50% or more of the property along the street is occupied by businesses, illegal unless at an intersection or an opening that provides an opening for the turn.

DUI’s, on the other hand, are often charged as misdemeanors but can be charged as felonies under certain circumstances. A driver is guilty of DUI any time they drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. All drugs are considered under this law, including marijuana and even prescription drugs.

What Are the Penalties for These Offenses?

Since traffic offenses can vary so much, the penalties for them can vary as well. They can range from a small fine, all the way up to large fines and jail time. On top of the fines and possible jail time, many offenses add points to a driver’s record, which can raise the cost of the driver’s insurance. If a driver acquires too many points within a certain amount of time, they could have their license suspended. What a person will face depends on what particular offense they were charged with.

For instance, if the person is facing a speeding ticket or a ticket for making an illegal U-turn, they will only face an infraction. This means they will face a small fine.

For speeding, the fines break down as follows:

  • $35 for speeds 1 to 15 mph over the limit but under 100 mph.
  • $70 for speeds 16 to 25 mph over the limit but under 100 mph.
  • $100 for speeds 26 mph over the limit but under 100 mph.
  • $500 and a 30-day license suspension for a first-time offense driving over 100 mph.
  • $750 and a 6-month license suspension for a second offense of driving over 100 mph within 3 years.
  • $1,000 and a 1-year license suspension for a third offense of driving over 100 mph within 5 years.

Each time a person receives a speeding ticket, they will also receive one point on their driver’s record.

When a person is ticketed for making an illegal U-turn, they will face a fine averaging around $230 and a point on their driver’s record.

When DUI is charged as a misdemeanor, such as when it is a person’s first offense, they will face:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 9 months of DUI school.
  • A 4-month driver’s license suspension.

When DUI is charged as a felony, a person will face:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 30 months of DUI school.
  • A 5-year driver’s license suspension.

Follow the Rules of the Road

Nobody wants to get a traffic ticket, which is why drivers should follow the rules of the road. As long as they do that, they won’t be ticketed for any traffic offenses, then they will never have to worry about being pulled over.

If a person is getting pulled over, they should cooperate. The worst thing that a driver can do when getting pulled over is run. Running will only make the situation worse.


robbery

Is There a Difference between These 3 Crimes?

robbery

When it comes to legal stuff, there is a lot that the general public doesn’t know, and it’s understandable. Anyone who has ever tried to read a law before has come face to face with the seemingly cryptic language known as legalese. That stuff is not easy to understand and so it’s only natural that people don’t have a perfect understanding of the thousands of laws in existence here in California.

A common misconception is that theft, burglary, and robbery are all the same crime. However, they are not. The law views each one differently. Each crime has specific circumstances tied to it that helps distinguish it from the others.

What Is Theft in California?

Theft is defined under California Penal Code (PC) 484 as the wrongful taking of someone else’s property. This can be done in a number of ways, such as taking an item, or money, when no one is looking or lying to get someone to hand over an item or money.

This crime is broken up into two categories, petty and grand. Which category a person falls into depends on the monetary value of what was stolen. If the monetary value of the stolen goods is under $950, then the thief will be charged with petty theft. If the monetary value is over $950, then the person will face grand theft charges.

The consequences for theft are dependent on which version a person has been accused of. For petty theft, a person faces misdemeanor charges that come with:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.

If the person has been charged with grand theft, they can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. As a misdemeanor, a person faces:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.

If grand theft is charged as a felony, a person faces:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000.

What Is Burglary?

Burglary is defined by PC 459 as entering a structure or vehicle with the intent of committing a crime. As far as this law is concerned, a person is guilty as soon as they enter the building or vehicle, regardless if they actually stole anything after that. All this law is concerned with is entering a place with the intent of committing a crime.

As with theft, burglary is also broken down into two categories: first- and second-degree burglary. First-degree burglary occurs when a person burglarizes a residence. Second-degree burglary occurs when a person burglarizes a commercial building.

This law is a wobbler, meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. How it is charged depends on the facts of the case. First-degree burglary is always charged as a felony and comes with:

  • 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Felony probation.

Second-degree burglary can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. As a felony it carries the following consequences:

  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.

When charged as a felony, the crime comes with:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Felony probation.

What Is Robbery?

In California, the crime of robbery is defined under PC 211 as taking something from someone’s immediate presence against their will through the use of force or fear. Basically, this means that a person took something from someone by force. An example of this crime would be using a gun to take a woman’s purse from them.

Again, as with the other 2 crimes, robbery can be broken down into two categories: first- and second-degree robbery. First-degree robbery occurs when one of the following is true about the case:

  • The victim was driving some sort of motor vehicle.
  • The crime took place in some sort of residence.
  • The victim had just visited an ATM.

Second-degree robbery occurs when a robbery doesn’t meet any of the above qualifications.

First-degree robbery is a felony that comes with:

  • 3, 4, or 6 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Felony probation.

Second-degree robbery is also a felony, and it comes with:

  • 2, 3, or 5 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Felony probation.

They Are Different

When written out in plain English, it is easy to see the differences between these crimes. Theft is stealing something, robbery is forcibly stealing something from a person’s immediate possession, and burglary is entering a structure with the intent of committing a crime. Burglary doesn’t have anything to do with stealing at all.

The consequences that a person faces depends on which crime the person has been accused of. Theft has much lighter consequences than robbery does due to the nature of the two crimes. Robbery is inherently more violent and threatening. Meanwhile, burglary consequences can be a bit light, but that is likely due to the fact that a person will probably face other charges on top of the burglary charge.

The bottom line is, even though the general public views these terms as synonymous, they are actually distinctly different.


Can children be home alone

When Can Children Be Left Home Alone?

Can children be home alone

Parenting is rarely an easy task at the best of times. When times get tough, like they have recently, parenting can get even tougher. With schools shut down all over the country, many parents have suddenly been reminded of just how tough parenting is. This is only made worse when some parents are still working, meaning their kids have to be left home alone.

Parents of younger kids can be left in a very tough spot. They need to work, but they also need to keep an eye on their children at home. They worry that their children may not be old enough to be left home alone. Then they wonder at what age a child can legally be left home alone in California.

It Depends on the Child

Deciding to leave a child home alone is not an easy decision to make. Most parents spend hours agonizing over that decision the first time. They may search online for answers, but unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. The one nice thing is that there is no law here in the state of California that states when a child can be left home alone.

When it comes to leaving a child home alone, things vary from kid to kid. This is one of the main reasons why the state doesn’t set an age limit to when a child can be left home alone. Some kids mature faster than others, and so an 8-year-old may be ready to take care of herself for an hour or two while a 9-year-old may still need constant supervision. The state can’t make exact guidelines for this kind of thing and so refer to the parent’s expertise on their child.

To help parents make a truly informed and well thought out decision, the state does provide parents with a list of questions to ask themselves regarding their child on the California Department of Education’s website. These questions include:

  • Can he creatively solve problems?
  • Do you live in an isolated area without close neighbors?
  • Does he always let you know where he is going and when he will return?
  • Does your child become bored easily?
  • Is a neighbor home to help if needed?
  • Is he easily frightened?
  • Is she responsible?
  • Is your neighborhood safe?
  • Will you or another adult always be available to your child in case of an emergency?
  • Would caring for the younger sibling restrict the older child’s activities?
  • Would she be at home with an older brother or sister? Do siblings get along?
  • Would she spend her time responsibly?
  • Would the older sibling resent caring for the younger one?
  • Would your child rather stay home than go to a child care or after-school program?

A parent should carefully consider all of these before coming to a conclusion about what they should do with their child. Some parents may find that after considering these points, their child isn’t ready to be left on their own. Others may determine that child is ready to handle the extra responsibility that comes with being home alone.

If a parent decides that they can leave their child home alone for a few hours, the California Department of Education recommends creating some rules for the child. Some of the rules they recommend are:

  • Are they allowed to leave the house or go outside?
  • How she can reach you.
  • The foods she may eat, preferably nothing involving the stove.
  • What appliances and devices can be used.
  • What TV shows can be watched.
  • Which friends are allowed to come over.

These simple rules can help keep a child safe while they are on their own.

It’s the Parent’s Decision

No one ever said that raising kids would be easy, and that was when things were generally right in the world. With schools shut down now, parents who are stuck going to work are being forced to face the dilemma of whether or not their child is mature and responsible enough to be staying home alone.

Luckily, there is no direct law stating when a child can be left on their own for a little while. This means the act of leaving a child home alone itself is not illegal. However, a parent can run into complications if by leaving the child alone, the child stood a more than likely chance of getting hurt. In those instances, a parent could be charged with neglect. If taken to court, the judge would likely default to the parent’s reasoning and thoughts on the matter. After all, parents are the best experts on how responsible and mature their children are.

What do you think of California’s lack of laws surrounding when a child can be left home alone? Should there be a law regulating this, or is it best to leave the decision up to the parents? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.


Stimulus check

Don’t Get Scammed out of Your Stimulus Check

Stimulus check

As the world practically shuts down in response to the spreading COVID-19 Pandemic, many people are now finding themselves stuck at home. For some, this time away from work can be very welcome. For others, however, not making any money is very stressful. Millions of people across the country have either had their jobs shutdown and are receiving no paycheck, or were laid off entirely. This is a pretty big deal for those who were living paycheck to paycheck.

To counteract the lack of income, and to keep the economy from crashing entirely, the US government agreed on a $2 trillion stimulus plan. All of this money would go to places it was needed most, such as the pockets of American citizens trying to pay their bills.

As great as this plan sounds for many Americans, it sounded even better for a shady group of people. Scammers heard news of the stimulus plan being approved and immediately began creating schemes. There has been a very noticeable uptick in scams revolving around the stimulus checks that will soon be going out to people.

What Is the Stimulus Plan?

The approved stimulus plan will be issuing checks of up to $1,200 to eligible Americans across the country. People who are eligible for these checks include:

  • People making less than $75,000 a year.
  • Couples making less than $150,000 a year.
  • Disabled veterans.
  • People who receive social security.

The money will be delivered to individuals based on how they receive their tax returns. If people chose to have their tax returns deposited directly into their bank account, then that is what will happen with their stimulus money. If people selected to have their tax return check mailed to them, then their stimulus check will be mailed to the same address.

For people who do not have to file taxes each year, such as low-income taxpayers, they will need to fill out a simple tax form. More information on that can be found on the official IRS website.

The money is slated to start going out in the next few weeks, but it will likely take several months for everyone to get their money.

Scammers Are Surfacing

Scammers love when people are scared or in a panic. In this state, people are easier to trick since they aren’t paying as much attention to details as they normally are. This is why scammers always try to scare their victims. However, with all of this fear from the pandemic, they don’t have to instill that fear, they can go straight to feeding off of it.

If a person receives any form of communication regarding their stimulus money, they should ignore it. There will be no fees that need to be paid before funds can be issued. There will be no need to give personal information over the phone or through email.

The IRS states that people on social security and those that file their taxes will not have to do anything to get their stimulus checks. The system will figure out who’s getting money and how/where to send it based on previous tax information. Chances are, the IRS, or any other government agency, will not be contacting people about their checks, so there is no reason to respond to any communications about the subject.

If a person suspects that a communication is legit, then they still should not respond through the presented method. Instead, a person should go to the official IRS website and contact someone through the methods presented there. The site can be identified by having .gov at the end of the site address instead of the usual .com.

Don’t Panic

Everyone can understand how money is a bit tight right now for a lot of people. Shutting down entire industries means that millions of people are without work and likely without pay. This is why the government enacted this stimulus package. They want to ensure that people get the money they need to stay in their homes until this pandemic has come to an end.

During this tough and confusing time, it is important for people not to panic. Doing so could cause them to fall victim to any number of scams. The best thing for everyone is to stay calm and to never give personal information to anyone who contacted them first.


California marijuana laws

What Are the Laws on Marijuana in California?

California marijuana laws

It seems like just yesterday that the usage of marijuana was illegal here in California. However, Californians voted to make marijuana usage legal in the state back in 2016, and the recreational use of marijuana became legal January 1st, 2018. This change allowed a whole lot of people to use marijuana without having to worry about getting into trouble with the law or needing it for medical reasons.

While this legal change has been in effect for 2 years now, there is still the occasional bit of confusion for some people on what is and isn’t legal. For instance, some people don’t know how much marijuana they are allowed to grow, or how much they can have on their person at one time.

The State’s Marijuana Possession Law

California has several different laws that describe what is and isn’t legal in regards to marijuana. For instance, when it comes to possession of marijuana, Health and Safety Code (HS) 11357 states how much a person can carry on them. Under this law, people over the age of 21 are allowed to hold 28.5 grams or less of marijuana. That’s just a little more than an ounce. Under this law, a person is also allowed to carry up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.

A person breaks this law when they:

  • Are under 21.
  • Possess more than 28.5 grams
  • Possess marijuana on the grounds of a K-12.

The penalties for breaking this law vary depending on how exactly it was broken. The charges for this crime can range from an infraction to a misdemeanor. They can have fines anywhere from $100 to $500, up to 6 months in jail, and require drug counseling.

Laws about Growing Marijuana

HS 11358 dictates who can grow marijuana and how much of it they can grow. Anyone over the age of 21 can grow up to 6 plants of marijuana. It typically has to be grown indoors, unless the city has a local ordinance that permits outdoor growth. Wherever marijuana is grown, it has to be in a secure location inaccessible to minors.

If a minor grows any marijuana, they are guilty of an infraction and will face:

  • $100 fine.
  • A drug counseling course.

If an adult grows more than 6 plants, they will be guilty of a misdemeanor and face:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $500.

In some instances a person can face felony charges for goring more than 6 plants if they:

  • Have been convicted of serious violent felonies.
  • Are a registered sex offender.
  • Have 2 or more convictions of growing 6 or more plants.
  • Violated certain environmental laws while growing their plants.

Marijuana Selling Laws

HS 11359 outlines who is allowed to sell marijuana. Only people who have acquired a license to sell marijuana from the state are allowed to sell the drug. Anyone else who is caught selling marijuana without a license will usually face a misdemeanor that comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $500.

However, in some instances, a person can face felony charges if:

  • They have been convicted of certain serious violent felonies.
  • They have 2 or more previous convictions of marijuana possession with intent to sell.
  • They tried to sell marijuana to a minor under the age of 18.
  • As a felony, a person can face time in county jail ranging from 16 months to 3 years.

Marijuana and Driving Laws

Driving while in possession of marijuana is made illegal under Vehicle Code (VC) 23222. This is the same law that prohibits people from driving while possessing an open container of alcohol. Basically, this law makes it illegal for anyone to drive a vehicle while in possession of opened marijuana containers.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is just as illegal as driving under the influence of alcohol. This is why the crime is referred to as driving under the influence (DUI), not driving while intoxicated (DWI). DUI is more inclusive of driving under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. If a person drives while high, they will face the same consequences they would if they were driving drunk.

These Laws Differ from Federal Laws

While marijuana usage is legal here in California, it is still illegal at the federal level. This means that even if a person is following the state laws for possessing and selling of marijuana, they could still be arrested and punished at the federal level. Despite that fact, for the most part, federal law enforcement isn’t that interested in the individual use of marijuana.

Still, there are instances where federal law enforcement will care about individual marijuana use. This will primarily occur when a person is on federal property such as:

  • Federal buildings.
  • Federal courthouses.
  • National parks.
  • Post offices.
  • Public airports.

If a person is caught possessing marijuana, they face the following under federal law:

  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 1 year in federal prison.

Growing, possessing with intent to sell, and sale of less than 50 pounds or 50 plants, is punishable with:

  • A max fine of $250,000.
  • Up to 5 years in federal prison.

Staying Out of Trouble Isn’t Too Hard

This is just a sample of some of the more common laws surrounding marijuana usage and cultivation here in California. Even though the laws went into effect 2 years ago, they are still new enough to cause some confusion.

As long as a person follows the above laws, they shouldn’t run into too much trouble with the law, at the state level anyways. When it comes to dealing with federal law, a person is better off leaving the marijuana at home. If they don’t do that, they could face some very harsh consequences.

What do you think of California’s many marijuana laws? Do they do a good job at keeping people safe, or are they too complicated? What about the federal laws regarding marijuana? Is it fair for people to get into trouble at the federal level even though they are following state laws? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.