California Appeals Court Rules Prisoners Can Possess Pot, They Just Can’t Consume It

A quirk of California State Law has led California’s 3rd District Court of Appeal to declare that it is not illegal for people who are incarcerated from having marijuana in their possession, but it remains illegal to consume it.

From The Mercury News:

“The reason? The authors of California Proposition 64 — which voters passed in 2016 allowing recreational marijuana use — did not write in anything that outlaws marijuana possession for incarcerated folks, the court ruled.

But the ruling comes with a major caveat: Consumption of marijuana by California prisoners remains a violation of the state penal code, and possession can still be punished as a rule violation by the California Department of Corrections. But if inmates want to keep a jar of weed next to their bunk, the district attorney can’t file charges, according to the ruling.”

As indicated, possession of Marijuana may not be illegal for inmates, but it can still be categorized as contraband if a correctional institution chooses to make it so, just as many prisons have outlawed cellphones, pornography, and cigarettes.

A copy of the court’s ruling on the matter can be found HERE.

If you have any questions about access to the California State and Appellate Courts, or if you would like information about any of our other products and services, contact us at or give us a call: 866-643-7084 (Option 2).

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