Court Rules Prisoners Can Legally Possess Pot

California jail and prison inmates are legally allowed to possess small quantities of marijuana under Prop 64, a court has ruled.

The decision came Tuesday, June 11 out of the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Sacramento. The three justices overturned the conviction of five men who had been found guilty of marijuana possession on prison grounds.

“According to the plain language of Health and Safety Code section 11362.1, enacted as part of Proposition 64, possession of less than an ounce of cannabis in prison is no longer a felony,” the justices concluded.

There is an important caveat. “Smoking or ingesting cannabis in prison remains a felony and prison regulations forbid possession,” according to the court. Therefore, anyone caught in the act of using marijuana could face criminal punishment. While jails can prohibit possession as a matter of policy, violation will not result in additional time added to an existing jail sentence.

To understand how and why the court reached this conclusion, read the full opinion here


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