Substances and the Law

Talking about Marijuana with clients.


Disclaimer: This is a guide of common FAQs participants may ask. The following is not to be used in lieu of legal advice. If participants have specific requests related to their past or current marijuana use, please refer them to Restoration Law Center using the referral process. Restoration Law Center (213) 835-0730


Q: Isn’t marijuana legal now?

A: CA passed the Prop 64: Adult use of marijuana act in Nov 2016. This bill:

  • Addresses past convictions and future use and sale
  • Allows for adult use above the age of 21 (with some limitations)
  • Allows for adult sale with license (with some limitations)
  • Ability to reduce felony convictions to a misdemeanor, misdemeanor to infractions or dismissal of charges (in some cases)
  • Ability to resentence if still under custody or supervision (jail, prison, parole, probation) and
  • Adults (21+) can possess, transport, buy, use, or share up to 1 ounce of marijuana or up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrate


Q: Can I still get arrested for possession or use of marijuana?

A: It depends on many factors. In the state of California, if you are an adult over the age of 21, you may be allowed possess, transport, buy, use, or share up to 1 ounce of marijuana or up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrate in legally permissible situations in the quantity permitted by law. However, a person can be arrested based on a variety of factors (e.g., driving under the influence is still illegal). If you believe the reason for the arrest was not fair, you may still have to go to court and persuade a judge that the police lacked “probable cause” or a legal basis to arrest you. Also, marijuana is still illegal under federal law which means a federal agent could arrest you for possessing and using marijuana. If you are arrested request a lawyer then remain silent, do not resist or try to argue your case with the law enforcement officer. Restoration Law Center (213) 835-0730


Q: How will I know if the charges against me are local or federal charges?

A: You will not necessarily know the charges until you get to court or talk with your lawyer. That is why it is very important to use your legal right to counsel and use your legal right to not self-incriminate, which means don’t say anything until your lawyer arrives!


Q: If I was convicted of marijuana charges in another state, but I now live in CA, can I get the charges reduced or dropped?

A: No, this law only relates to charges in CA. If you were convicted in another state, those charges are still on your record.


Q: If marijuana use is legal, how can I still get in trouble for using it at work?

A: It is not a good idea to be under the influence of any intoxicant at work. Depending on the type of job and work environment, safety factors, and other issues, each employer may have different rules around being under the influence while on the job. Check with your employer’s employee handbook and policies to determine if it is appropriate for you to be under the influence while at work.