The Moncrieffe v. Holder decision.

“Social Sharing” of Marijuana

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24th Apr 2013

Moncrieffe v. Holder:

“Sharing a small amount of marijuana for no remuneration, let alone possession with intent to do so, does not fit easily into the everyday understanding of trafficking, which ordinarily means some sort of commercial dealing.” Moncrieffe is a case about immigration, so it is unclear what its impact will be beyond immigration law.

California law has treated “social sharing” the same as sales, because Health and Safety Code section 11360 uses the language “…sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away…” in defining the felony offense. Until now, sharing a joint with a friend would constitute a felony offense. In light of the Moncrieffe decision, there is at least some legal basis to argue that “social sharing” is not the same as trafficking, and therefore should not be treated as such.

HOWEVER, don’t go thinking the issue is settled in California. IT IS NOT! But this case provides a basis for arguing that social sharing is not trafficking.