Smoking weed? fairly legal, especially if you have a doctor's recommendation. Having personal-use weed? Same deal. Growing weed? Not so much.
Strange, because, if medical marijuana is legal in California, and it's sold at hundreds of outlets in L.A., the pot-shop capital of American, someone has to grow it, right?
A bill by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano seeks to address this strange gray area when it comes to California pot law. It would …
… change the cultivation charge in California from an automatic felony to an optional one, giving district attorneys across the state the option of going for a lesser, misdemeanor violation.
Bill co-sponsor David Eyster, the D.A. of Mendocino County, states:
“When it comes to marijuana cultivation, one size does not fit all. The proposed change affords local District Attorneys the charging discretion to determine, for example, that a home gardener with a few non-medical marijuana plants will not be prosecuted at the same level as a profiteer operating a major marijuana plantation.
“It makes no sense that unlawful possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is an infraction, that possession of more than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor, that possession of methamphetamines may be charged as a misdemeanor, but that growing any amount of marijuana must be charged as a straight felony punishable by prison.”
Of course, as our friends at SF Weekly note, not all D.A.'s are cannabis friendly. And that would certainly be the case in L.A., where Steve Cooley has said that most dispensaries here are illicit because, he says, they operate on a for-profit basis contrary to state law.
So, growers in L.A., good luck, even if this thing passes.