San Jose School Counselor Arrested on Suspicion of Selling Marijuana to Minors (CA Health and Safety Code 11352, 11353 and 11353.1)

This week in San Jose, 20-year-old school counselor (name withheld to protect the anonymity of the accused) of the “Think Together” program at the school was arrested on suspicion of two felonies:  selling a controlled substance to a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

California has been fighting the ‘war on drugs’ for decades now and many citizens of the state are in the same position as the counselor today because of it, imprisoned.  And though Washington State and Colorado have both now legalized marijuana for recreational use and California has legalized medical marijuana, the sale of such a drug to minors nearly always gets the attention of the media.  (CA Health and Safety Code 11352)  prohibits the sale or transportation of any controlled substance, which is not limited to marijuana, heroin, opiates, and GHB are also included.

Though drugs busts in the state are normally carried out as the result of a long-planned sting operation or a tip-off from an anonymous source, in this case, the counselor was brought to the attention of the authorities by the middle school students he was allegedly selling marijuana to.   (CA Health and Safety Code 11353 and 11353.1) deal with any offense of this kind involving minor children.  This portion of the law makes it illegal to use a minor to assist in the sale or transportation of controlled substances and to either sell or give drugs to them.  If minors are involved, you may face up to 9 years in state prison plus an additional 1 to 2 years if the sales happened on school grounds (or within 1,000 feet of a school or other geographic location where minors are known to gather).  The counselor was sentenced to 10 years, even though he sold to minors, accomplished this on school grounds, and was at least 4 years older than the minors he sold to (which could have gotten him an extra 2 to 3 years).