We already know that inordinate amounts of people are in jail for small-time marijuana possession across the country — even in states that have legalized recreational marijuana, but are behind the times when it comes to the expungement of past criminal records.
Compounding this issue is the prisoners who are caught with cannabis when they are already in jail, an offense that can end up adding years to their sentence and hence, costing taxpayers a whole lot of money to keep non-violent offenders locked up.
California recently took a step in the right direction when it comes to guaranteeing incarcerated people’s rights in the middle of the cannabis legalization movement. Though it remains illegal to consume marijuana in prisons, the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeals decided that less than an ounce of marijuana was OK for imprisoned people to have in their possession — the same amount that all Californians are authorized to carry by law by 2016’s Proposition 64.
The case was brought to court when marijuana was found in the cells of five Sacramento County inmates. The state of California argued that allowing incarcerated individuals to possess cannabis would cause issues in maintaining control in the prison