California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)
2304. Simple Possession of Controlled SubstanceDownload PDF
2304.Simple Possession of Controlled Substance (Health & Saf.
Code, §§ 11350, 11377)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with possessing
<insert type of controlled substance>, a controlled substance [in violation
of <insert appropriate code section[s]>].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant [unlawfully] possessed a controlled substance;
2. The defendant knew of its presence;
3. The defendant knew of the substance’s nature or character as a
<If the controlled substance is not listed in the schedules set forth in
sections 11054 through 11058 of the Health and Safety Code, give
paragraph 4B and the deﬁnition of analog substance below instead of
4A. The controlled substance was <insert type of
4B. The controlled substance was an analog of <insert
type of controlled substance>
5. The controlled substance was in a usable amount.
[In order to prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People
must prove that <insert name of analog drug> is an analog
of <insert type of controlled substance>. An analog of a
1. Has a chemical structure substantially similar to the structure of
a controlled substance;
2. Has, is represented as having, or is intended to have a stimulant,
depressant, or hallucinogenic effect on the central nervous system
substantially similar to or greater than the effect of a controlled
Ausable amount is a quantity that is enough to be used by someone as
a controlled substance. Useless traces [or debris] are not usable
amounts. On the other hand, a usable amount does not have to be
enough, in either amount or strength, to affect the user.
[The People do not need to prove that the defendant knew which
speciﬁc controlled substance (he/she) possessed.]
[Two or more people may possess something at the same time.]
[A person does not have to actually hold or touch something, to possess
it. It is enough if the person has (control over it/ [or] the right to
control it), either personally or through another person.]
[Agreeing to buy a controlled substance does not, by itself, mean that a
person has control over that substance.]
[The defendant is not guilty of possessing <insert type of
controlled substance> if (he/she) had a valid, written prescription for
that substance from a physician, dentist, podiatrist, [naturopathic
doctor], or veterinarian licensed to practice in California. The People
have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the
defendant did not have a valid prescription. If the People have not met
this burden, you must ﬁnd the defendant not guilty of possessing a
New January 2006; Revised August 2006, October 2010, February 2014, August
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction deﬁning the elements of
When the People allege the defendant has a prior conviction for an offense listed in
Penal Code section 667(e)(2)(C)(iv) or for an offense requiring registration pursuant
to subdivision (c) of section 290, give CALCRIM No. 3100, Prior Conviction:
Nonbifurcated Trial, or CALCRIM No. 3101, Prior Conviction: Bifurcated Trial.
The prescription defense is codiﬁed in Health and Safety Code sections 11350 and
11377. It is not available as a defense to possession of all controlled substances.
The defendant need only raise a reasonable doubt about whether his or her
possession of the drug was lawful because of a valid prescription. (See People v.
Mower (2002) 28 Cal.4th 457, 479 [122 Cal.Rptr.2d 326, 49 P.3d 1067].) If there is
sufficient evidence, the court has a sua sponte duty to give the bracketed paragraph
on the defense.
A recent amendment to section 11150 includes a naturopathic doctor in the
category of those who may furnish or order certain controlled substances, so that
bracketed option should be included in this instruction if substantial evidence
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES CALCRIM No. 2304
• Elements Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11350, 11377; People v. Palaschak (1995) 9
Cal.4th 1236, 1242 [40 Cal.Rptr.2d 722, 893 P.2d 717].
• Constructive vs. Actual Possession People v. Barnes (1997) 57 Cal.App.4th
552, 556 [67 Cal.Rptr.2d 162].
• Knowledge People v. Horn (1960) 187 Cal.App.2d 68, 74–75 [9 Cal.Rptr.
• Usable Amount People v. Rubacalba (1993) 6 Cal.4th 62, 65–67 [23
Cal.Rptr.2d 628, 859 P.2d 708]; People v. Piper (1971) 19 Cal.App.3d 248, 250
[96 Cal.Rptr. 643].
• Prescription Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11027, 11164, 11164.5.
• Persons Authorized to Write Prescriptions Health & Saf. Code, § 11150.
• Deﬁnition of Analog Controlled Substance People v. Davis (2013) 57 Cal.4th
353, 357, fn. 2 [159 Cal.Rptr.3d 405, 303 P.3d 1179].
• No Finding Necessary for “Expressly Listed” Controlled Substance People v.
Davis,supra, 57 Cal.4th at p. 362, fn. 5.
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare §§ 97–114.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 145,
Narcotics and Alcohol Offenses, § 145.01[a]–[d], [b] (Matthew Bender).
CALCRIM No. 2304 CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES