The Difference Between Marijuana Posession and Trafficking

Marijuana Possession and Trafficking in California

A California man is facing charges for drug distribution after he was pulled over for following another vehicle too closely in traffic. As an iHeart Radio news affiliate reported, officers conducted a search after a K9 officer indicated an odor emanating from the trunk of the man’s car. He was charged with drug trafficking due to the fact that 18 pounds of marijuana, other drugs, and paraphernalia were discovered in the vehicle. While you may be aware of the offense and penalties for possession of a controlled substance like marijuana, the crime of marijuana distribution is much more severe. Here are a few key factors you should understand if you are facing such charges.

California Law on Marijuana Trafficking

It is against the law to sell, transport, and import controlled substances falling into certain categories. Controlled substances include illegal drugs and marijuana; however, distributing legal prescription drugs without a proper license or to someone without a prescription can also be a violation of the law. The circumstances of the case will determine whether the charges are possession versus distribution. Evidence that supports the more serious crime of distribution might include a large volume of the drug, packing materials typically associated selling drugs, and paraphernalia showing that intent to sell rather than keep drugs for personal use.

Penalties for a Marijuana Distribution Conviction

California makes exceptions when sentencing a person for marijuana distribution, as compared to more serious controlled substances. The crime may result in a felony conviction carrying a prison term up to four years. However, if the amount of the drug was less than one ounce, the charge is typically a misdemeanor and fine.

Federal Laws May Apply: There are also laws enacted by the federal government related to drug smuggling. To prove a federal case against you for distribution of a controlled substance, a prosecuting attorney would typically have to show that you possessed a large amount of an illegal drug and crossed state borders with the intent to sell. In the case of the man arrested with 18 pounds of marijuana, he was traveling to Indiana from California, triggering the possibility of federal drug charges.

Penalties for a Violating Federal Drug Laws

The punishment for committing federal drug smuggling crimes is less clear than California law because penalties are based on a different system. In general, an offense starts with a certain base penalty, which increases if you have a prior criminal history. Also, if the amount of drugs involved was particularly substantial, there are increased sentences for jail time and maximum fines.

California makes a distinction between possession and distribution of controlled substances, and it’s one of many states that includes lesser charges and sentencing when the controlled substance is marijuana. However, it’s important to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and ensure the least severe criminal penalties. Please contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer in San Diego to fight your marijuana distribution case in California and obtain the best possible result.

Marijuana Distribution Laws in San Diego

At Ozols Law Firm we work hard to fight for our clients. We do not believe that Marijuana should be illegal and that selling Marijuana is not something that the district attorneys office should prosecute. We have handled a large amount of these cases and do everything we can to make sure our clients get the results they deserve.

Ozols Law Firm
8880 Rio San Diego Dr. #22
San Diego, CA
92108