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California Cocaine Laws

California cocaine laws became less rigid after voters approved Proposition 36 in 2000. The measure, encoded in Penal Code Section 1000, establishes special drug courts and gives non-violent drug crime defendants the option of getting treatment in exchange for supervised probation. Those with prior records may receive 30- to 90-day county jail sentences for possession , instead of felony charges with a likelihood of state prison time.

The basic provisions of California cocaine laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section and Details on State Cocaine Laws to learn more.

Code Section Health & Safety §11000, et seq. §11350, et seq.
Possession Misdemeanor or felony; up to 3 yrs in state prison (felony supervised probation with a guilty plea in most cases)
Sale State prison 2-4 yrs.; Possession for sale of "cocaine base": state prison 3-5 yrs.; Sale to minors: state prison 3, 5, or 7 yrs.; Sale to day care, preschool, or school children: 5, 7, or 9 yrs.; Anyone over 18 who sells to a minor or uses a minor in the sale process is punishable in state prison for 3, 6, or 9 yrs.; Sale within 1000 ft. of school: additional 3, 4, or 5 yrs.; If sale occurred upon the grounds of a child day care, school, church, synagogue, or youth center, punishment is automatically enhanced by one year; Anyone over 18 yrs who sells to a minor at least 4 years younger as a full and separate enhancement shall be punished by imprisonment in state prison for 3, 4 or 5 yrs. Sale on many public areas punishable by state prison for 5, 7, or 9 yrs. if seller 5 yrs. older than minor
Trafficking Transport/import 3-5 yrs.; County to noncontiguous county: 3, 6, or 9 yrs.

Note: State laws are always subject to change, usually through the enactment of new statutes but also through court decisions and other means. Be sure to contact a California drug crime attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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