Marijuana is one of the most popular drugs among college students. Since Proposition 64, The Adult Use Marijuana Act, you may think that you are legally entitled to cultivate, possess and use marijuana in California. But there are limits to this privilege, and stepping over the lines of the law can result in serious fines and imprisonment. Do you know the limits of the law?


Marijuana use on campus

Although marijuana is legal for adult use in the state of California, you may want to rethink indulging in your dorm room. Federal law prohibits the possession, use or cultivation of marijuana at any educational institution. Most colleges and universities receive federal funding, so they must adhere to federal law if they want to continue to receive that funding. Check your school’s student handbook to see how they handle marijuana use on campus, and what disciplinary actions they may take against you.

Possession for personal use

Proposition 64 permits adults 21 or older to legally cultivate up to six plants, to possess up to one ounce of flower or eight grams of concentrates. If you possess more than this amount, you may face misdemeanor charges. Depending upon the quantity in your possession, you can face up to six months in prison and a fine up to $500.

Selling marijuana

You may only sell marijuana to other people if you have a state licensed seller’s permit. Without this permit, possessing marijuana with the intent to sell can lead to misdemeanor charges, up to six months in prison and a fine up to $500. You are allowed to gift up to one ounce of marijuana as long as you do not receive payment for it.

Underage use

Proposition 64 only applies to adults 21 years or older; however, many of your fellow college students are between the ages of 18-20. It is illegal to share marijuana with students under 21. If the other student is under the age of 18, you can face up to 3-5 years of imprisonment for delivering marijuana to a minor.

If a student between 18-20 years old is found with marijuana on school property, they are guilty of a misdemeanor and can receive up to 10 days in jail and a fine up to $500.

Police action

If police accuse you of breaking California’s marijuana laws, know how to protect your legal rights:

  • Privacy. Do not allow police to search your person, home, car or other private property. Police do not have a right to search without a search warrant.
  • Silence. Do not answer police questions. You have a constitutional right to remain silent. Tell police that you would like to speak to a lawyer, but do not answer questions during any point of a police confrontation or arrest.
  • Counsel. If you are accused of a crime, you have a right to legal counsel. Contact a lawyer who can protect your rights, and keep you from unintentionally incriminating yourself.

Proposition 64 gives California citizens more freedom of choice, but it does not provide unlimited freedom. Understanding the law will keep you out of trouble, and your record clean, as you look towards future employment opportunities.