California Health and Safety Code Section 11361(a) HSC: Employing A Minor To Sell Marijuana
In recognizing the importance of keeping young people away from drugs, the California legislature has enacted laws that come down hard on adults who involve minors in drug sales and use. Under California Health & Safety Code Section 11361(a) HSC, employing minors to sell marijuana and inducing minors to use marijuana is a felony offense that carries severe punishments.
In order to prove a defendant employed a minor to sell marijuana, the following elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant hired, employed or used another person
- This other person was hired, employed our used to transport, carry, sell, give away, prepare for sale or peddle marijuana, a controlled substance
- At the time, the defendant was 18 years of age or older
- At the time, the other person was under 18 years of age
- AND the defendant knew of the substance’s nature or character as a controlled substance.
In order to prove that the defendant induced a minor to use marijuana, the following elements must be present:
- The defendant unlawfully encouraged, persuaded, solicited, intimidated or induced another person to use marijuana.
- At the time, the defendant was at least 18 years old or older
- AND the other person was under 18 years old.
Other similar or related offenses include:
- Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance - California Health & Safety Code Section 11352 HSC
- Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance – California Health & Safety Code Section 11351 HSC
- Possession for Sale of Marijuana – California Health & Safety Code Section 11359 HSC
- Selling Marijuana – California Health & Safety Code Section 11360 HSC
- Selling a Controlled Substance to a Minor – California Health & Safety Code Section 11253 HSC
A man who is a marijuana dealer wants to expand his market to include local high schools, where the demand for marijuana is high. In order to serve this market, the man employs students at the school who are under 18 to sell marijuana to their classmates. Among other charges, this man could be charged with employing a minor to sell marijuana in violation of California Health & Safety Code Section 11361(a) HSC.
In another example, a man who has a legal prescription to use marijuana is a strong proponent of the drug. One day the man’s 17-year-old nephew complains to the man that he is suffering from severe insomnia. The man tells his nephew that smoking marijuana would help him sleep and strongly encourages him to try some marijuana. The nephew ultimately refuses. The man could still be charged under California Health & Safety Code Section 11361(a) HSC even though his nephew never agreed to use marijuana. The simple act of inducing a minor to use marijuana is sufficient to violate the statute.4. Defenses to Employing a Minor to Sell Marijuana
If the defendant is accused of inducing a minor to use marijuana, he or she would have a valid defense if he or she reasonably and actually believed that the underage person was, in fact, at least 18 years old.5. Penalties
Employing a minor to sell marijuana and inducing a minor to use marijuana are serious felony offenses that can lead to extensive prison sentences for those who are convicted. If the minor in question is between the ages 14 and 18 years old, the defendant can be sent to prison for up to five years. If the minor in question is under 14, the defendant would face up to seven years in prison.6. Criminal Defense for Employing a Minor to Sell Marijuana Cases
If you have been charged with employing a minor to sell marijuana or inducing a minor to use marijuana, it is very important that you speak with a knowledgeable Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut knows how best to defend cases such as this. Mr. Kraut works tirelessly to ensure his clients receive the best defense possible.
For more information about employing a minor to sell marijuana and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.