ISTOCK IMAGE ID 1429104Under Health and Safety Code 11359, it is illegal to sell marijuana in the state of California. Marijuana is defined as all parts of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, the seeds, and the resin, but not the mature stalks and their fiber (H&SC 11018). In order to be found guilty, the accused must be found to have known of possessing the illegal substance and that they were intending to sell the illegal substance.

What Constitutes a Marijuana Transaction?

There are clues that determine whether or not there was intent. According to, some of the items police look for include scales, cash, multiple packages, “commercial” packaging materials, and address books.

Punishments for Possession for Sale of Marijuana

People found guilty of selling and/or illegally transporting marijuana with the intent to sell can find themselves facing severe penalties. Sentences range from two to four years in state prison. If an adult sells to or uses a minor under 14 in their transaction, then the sentence is three, five, and/or seven years in prison. If the transaction involves a minor over 14 years old, then the sentence will be between three to five years. On the other hand, if the transaction has not taken place, but it is proven that there was the intent to sell, then the sentence could last from 16 months to three years, as it is a felony under Health and Safety Code 11360.

However, the severity of the sentence also depends on how much marijuana was found in the vehicle. Gifts of 28.5 grams or less only result in $100 fines. In addition, the amount of marijuana found in your vehicle may be key in your defense.

Your Defense Options

There are a variety of defenses that can be used for marijuana cases. The most common drug case defenses, as listed by, are:

  • Unlawful Search and Seizure: Drug paraphernalia in “plain view” cannot be defended against, as the Fourth Amendment allows reasonable searches in those circumstances. However, evidence that law officials find when searching the vehicle without your permission cannot be used in the case.
  • Deny Ownership: Do not admit having knowledge of marijuana being in your vehicle and/or property.
  • It is not Marijuana: In some cases, law officials will make incorrect assumptions.
  • Missing Drugs: Make the prosecution present the evidence.
  • Drugs were Planted: The most difficult to prove.
  • Entrapment: Were you framed by the police?

Team Up with Peter Blair Today

As noted on our Marijuana Cultivation and Sale page, the first course of action you should take is to contact an attorney. At the Law Office of Peter Blair, we provide free initial consultation. After we analyze your case, we will determine the best approach suited for your situation. The earlier you call Peter Blair, the better the chances are of establishing a solid defense that will prevent you from spending time behind bars. Get a hold of us today at (619) 357-4977.