Why Zach Randolph Received Felony Charges In A Legal-Marijuana State

California generally classifies these charges as a misdemeanor.

Zach Randolph
Photo by Christian Petersen/Staff/Getty Images

Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph was one of two people arrested by the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Office late Wednesday night. Randolph is facing a felony charge of marijuana possession with intent to sell, according to police reports.


LAPD officers reported to a disturbance call in the Nickerson Garden Housing Project in the LA Watts neighborhood around 10 p.m. They discovered a group of individuals blocking off a street while drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, and playing loud music. When cops attempted to disperse the crowd, the action escalated.

“[A] mob formed and began to destroy police cruisers and throw objects at officers, prompting them to call for backup,” according to CBS Los Angeles.


Two people were arrested, including Randolph. According to TMZ Sports, Randolph had “roughly 2 pounds of weed on him” in a “large backpack.” This is what, TMZ reports, caused Randolph to be charged with a felony of intent to sell.


Randolph was released on a $20,000 bail Thursday morning.

Randolph’s felony charge deserves an explanation in California, a state that legalized recreational marijuana. California’s Prop 64 designates individuals can have up to an ounce of marijuana on them (28.5 grams to be exact). Randolph’s reported possession of two pound of weed is obviously more than the state allows.

However, Prop 64 designates that possession with intent to sale is generally punishable as a misdemeanor. Felony enhancement is allowed under “special circumstances and three-time offenders.”


While Randolph was arrested under an investigation of drunk driving in 2009 within the Los Angeles area, he is not a three-time offender. The felony charge, one can speculate, stems from the amount of weed in Randolph’s possession coupled with the damage inflicted on police and police cruisers.

Randolph signed a two-year contract with the Sacramento Kings in July worth $24 million. He is yet to make a public comment on the incident.


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