CA Supreme Court Rules Proposition 64 Does Not Make Possessing Pot in Prison Legal

By Neha Malhi 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The article “Weed Still Illegal in Prison” by Nick Woodall discusses a decision by the California Supreme Court last week that declared possessing weed in prison is illegal.

According to CA Supreme Court, in the People v. Raybon Docket: S256978 case the possession of cannabis while in prison is a violation of Cal. Penal Code section 4573.6.

In short, the court decided—and rejected the court of appeals decision—that it was not the “voters intent” to legalize the possession and use of marijuana in prison.

In the above case, there were five defendants who were convicted for the violation of section 4573.6. Each one of them had possession of cannabis while in state prison.

The court found “Proposition 64—the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act—did not invalidate cannabis-related convictions under section 4573.6, which makes it a felony  to possess a controlled substance in a state correctional facility.”

In 2016, after voters approved Proposition 64, the defendants in the People v. Raybon case filed petitions claiming the facts that the sentences given for the violation of section 4573.6 should be dismissed.

According to their argument, an adult who has possession of less than one ounce of cannabis in prison is no longer committing a crime because of Proposition 64.

However the trial court denied all their petitions, noting, “The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Cal. Health & Safety Code 11362.5(d)—containing an exception providing that the Act does not amend or affect certain laws—is most reasonably constructed as encompassing laws that prohibit the possession of cannabis in prison.”

About The Author

Neha Malhi is graduating from UCLA this summer with BA in Economics. she is from LA, California.

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