Named after the Spanish phrase for “opposite coast”, Contra Costa County is located in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a mostly suburban county and had a population of 1,049,025 according to the 2010 census. The seat of Contra Costa County is Martinez.
Contra Costa County’s Marijuana Laws
Contra Costa County is governed by both local and state laws with regard to marijuana possession, use, and cultivation. According to local law, residents of Contra Costa County may possess up to six mature marijuana plants or twelve immature plants in addition to eight ounces of bud. Possession in excess of this limit may entail criminal charges.
In addition to local laws, Contra Costa County residents are also governed by state laws, particularly California law SB 420. This law stipulates the establishment of medical marijuana programs in each county. Under such programs, qualified patients and their caregivers are eligible for an ID card. This card signifies that the bearer has been recommended medical marijuana use by a physician, and basically serves as protection from criminal prosecution. In counties that have adopted the medical marijuana program, a physician certification may be used in place of the ID card.
Consequences of California State Marijuana Laws
The state marijuana laws governing marijuana possession also apply to the residents of Contra Costa County. These laws stipulate that possession of 28.5 grams of marijuana or less is considered only a civil infraction. Offenders will not be arrested, although they are required to pay a $100 civil fine. Possession in excess of these amounts however will entail a jail term of six months maximum in addition to a fine of $500 maximum.
California law also stipulates that the cultivation or processing of marijuana in any amount will merit a sixteen month prison sentence. The only exceptions to this law are patients that have been approved for medical marijuana use and their caregivers.