People v. Lee (Cal. 2019) 40 Cal. App. 5th 853

Legal Amount of Marijuana as Probable Cause

The trial court properly concluded that defendant’s possession of a small amount of marijuana was of little relevance in assessing probable cause. Under Health & Saf. Code, § 11362.1, subd. (c), legal cannabis and related products are not contraband and their possession and/or use may not constitute the basis for detention, search, or arrest. Even considering the totality of circumstances known to the officer there did not exist a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime would be found.

The trial court did not err in concluding that the search was not valid as an inventory search. The search served no community caretaking function. The trial court reasonably found that the primary purpose of the search was not to inventory the contents of defendant’s car, but rather to investigate defendant for possible criminal behavior.