California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)
2400. Using or Being Under the Influence of Controlled SubstanceDownload PDF
G. USE AND POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA
2400.Using or Being Under the Inﬂuence of Controlled
Substance (Health & Saf. Code, § 11550)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with (using/ [or] being
under the inﬂuence of) <insert controlled substance listed in
Health & Saf. Code, § 11550>, a controlled substance [in violation of
Health and Safety Code section 11550].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
<Alternative A—use of controlled substance>
1. The defendant willfully [and unlawfully] used
<insert controlled substance listed in Health & Saf. Code, § 11550>,
a controlled substance[, a short time before (his/her) arrest](;/.)
<Alternative B—under the inﬂuence of controlled substance>
(1/2). The defendant was willfully [and unlawfully] under the
inﬂuence of <insert controlled substance listed in
Health & Saf. Code, § 11550>, a controlled substance, when (he/
she) was arrested.
Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on
[Someone is under the inﬂuence of a controlled substance if that person
has taken or used a controlled substance that has appreciably affected
the person’s nervous system, brain, or muscles or has created in the
person a detectable abnormal mental or physical condition.]
[The defendant is not guilty of (using/ [or] being under the inﬂuence of)
<insert controlled substance listed in Health & Saf. Code,
§ 11550> if (he/she) had a valid prescription for that substance written
by 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.]
New January 2006; Revised August 2006
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction deﬁning the elements of
A violation of Health and Safety Code section 11550 based on “use” of a
controlled substance requires “ ‘current use’ or ‘use immediately prior to arrest’
. . . .” (People v. Jones (1987) 189 Cal.App.3d 398, 403–404 [234 Cal.Rptr. 408];
see also People v. Velasquez (1976) 54 Cal.App.3d 695, 699–700 [126 Cal.Rptr.
656]; People v. Gutierrez (1977) 72 Cal.App.3d 397, 402 [140 Cal.Rptr. 122].) In
People v. Jones, supra, 189 Cal.App.3d at p. 406, the court found evidence of use
within 48 hours prior to the defendant’s arrest sufficient. If there is an issue in the
case over when the defendant allegedly used the substance, give the bracketed
phrase “a short time before (his/her) arrest” in element 1. (Ibid.) Alternatively, the
court may insert a speciﬁc time or time frame in element 1, e.g., “24 to 48 hours
prior to (his/her) arrest.”
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
If the court instructs the jury on both use and being under the inﬂuence, the court
should consider whether a unanimity instruction is required. (See CALCRIM No.
The prescription defense is codiﬁed in Health and Safety Code section 11550. The
defendant need only raise a reasonable doubt about whether his or her use 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 instruct on the defense. Give the
bracketed “and unlawfully” in the elements and the bracketed paragraph on the
• Elements. Health & Saf. Code, § 11550.
•Under the Inﬂuence. People v. Culberson (1956) 140 Cal.App.2d Supp. 959,
960–961 [295 P.2d 598]; see also People v. Canty (2004) 32 Cal.4th 1266, 1278
[14 Cal.Rptr.3d 1, 90 P.3d 1168]; People v. Enriquez (1996) 42 Cal.App.4th
661, 665 [49 Cal.Rptr.2d 710].
• Under the Inﬂuence and Use Distinguished. People v. Gutierrez (1977) 72
Cal.App.3d 397, 402 [140 Cal.Rptr. 122].
• Willfulness Element of Offense. People v. Little (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 766,
775 [9 Cal.Rptr.3d 446].
CALCRIM No. 2400 CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
• Willfully Deﬁned. Pen. Code, § 7(1); People v. Lara (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th
102, 107 [51 Cal.Rptr.2d 402].
• Speciﬁc Controlled Substance Must Be Alleged. Sallas v. Municipal Court
(1978) 86 Cal.App.3d 737, 743 [150 Cal.Rptr. 543].
• Requires Current Use. People v. Jones (1987) 189 Cal.App.3d 398, 403–404
[234 Cal.Rptr. 408]; see also People v. Velasquez (1976) 54 Cal.App.3d 695,
699–700 [126 Cal.Rptr. 656]; People v. Gutierrez (1977) 72 Cal.App.3d 397,
402 [140 Cal.Rptr. 122].
• Statute Constitutional. Bosco v. Justice Court (1978) 77 Cal.App.3d 179,
191–192 [143 Cal.Rptr. 468].
• Prescription Defense. Health & Saf. Code, § 11550.
• Prescription Deﬁned. Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11027, 11164, 11164.5.
• Persons Authorized to Write Prescriptions. Health & Saf. Code, § 11150.
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare, § 73.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 145,
Narcotics and Alcohol Offenses, § 145.01[a], [k], [l], [b] (Matthew Bender).
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES CALCRIM No. 2400