[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