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Weed Still Illegal In Prison

People v. Raybon Docket: S256978, Opinion Date: August 12, 2021. The Supreme Court held that possession of cannabis in prison remains a violation of Cal. Penal Code 4573.6 and that 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. The five defendants in this case were each found in possession of cannabis in a state prison and were convicted of violating section 4573.6. After voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016, Defendants filed petitions arguing that their sentences for violating section 4573.6 should be dismissed because adult possession of less than one ounce of cannabis in prison no longer qualified as a crime. The trial court denied the petitions. The court of appeal reversed, holding that the conduct underlying Defendants' convictions was no longer criminal under section 4573.6. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Cal. Health & Saf. Code 11362.5(d) - containing an exception providing that the Act does not amend or affect certain laws - is most reasonably construed as encompassing laws that prohibit the possession of cannabis in prison.

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