Merced County is located in California’s Central Valley, with Fresno to the south and San Jose to the northwest. The seat of the county is Merced, and according to the 2010 census, its population was estimated at slightly fewer than 255,800. Merced County derives its name from the Merced River.
Merced County’s Marijuana Laws
In Merced County, possession of 28.5 grams of marijuana or less is a considered a mere civil infraction, with a fine of only $100 fine. However, possessing more than 28.5 grams or less is an arrestable offense which warrants a 6-month jail sentence and a $500 fine. This law is pretty much standard in all California counties and tends to be implemented in the absence of clearly defined county laws governing marijuana possession.
The cultivation and processing of marijuana in any amount is a felony offense punishable by a 16-month prison term. The exceptions to this law are patients approved for medical marijuana by a physician who is in possession of a state-issued marijuana ID card. Caregivers of such patients are also exempted from these laws.
Medical marijuana patients are legally allowed to maintain a maximum of 6 mature plants or 12 immature plants and 8 ounces of bud. Caregivers of such patients are legally allowed to maintain the same number of plants and amount of buds for every patient under their care.
The sale of marijuana in California is illegal, which means that it is illegal in Merced County as well. Offenders will be charged with a felony crime, which merits a 2- to 4-year prison sentence regardless of the amount of marijuana sold. If the marijuana is sold to a minor, the penalty is a 3- to 5-year prison sentence. Additionally, offenders younger than 21 years old may have their driver’s license suspended for a period of one year.