What You Need To Know About Marijuana Laws in California
Ever since Proposition 64, the voter initiative to make cannabis or marijuana legal in the State of California became law on November 9, 2016, many Californians were under the impression that the use and sales of weed are finally and totally legal.
Things, however, aren’t that simple. While the Adult Use of Marijuana Act has indeed legalized possession of marijuana for recreational use, the law has set certain provisions that would give users wildly cheering its passage some pause. Here are some the things you need to know about marijuana laws in California.
No marijuana for nonmedical users under 21
Unless you’re a medical user, you can forget about getting that marijuana fix legally if you’re below 21. Proposition 64 clearly states that only people who are 21 and older are allowed to possess, transport and buy pot. To further underscore the need to keep the substance out of the hands of kids, Proposition 64 also prohibits marijuana shops from allowing minors on their premises. Ads that target minors are also prohibited. It’s not called the Adult Use of Marijuana Act for nothing.
There is a limit to the amount of weed you can buy
Proposition 64 sets the limit of marijuana you can buy and possess for recreational use at 28.5 grams. Hashish (concentrated cannabis) users, on the other hand, are allowed to buy and possess up to four grams of their pot of choice.
Smoking pot in public is still illegal
You will face a fine of up to $100 if you get caught smoking pot in public. If you were busted in no smoking areas or near a school, a fine of up to $250 awaits you. If you’re a minor, you will have to undergo four hours of drug counseling, and up to ten hours of community service.
You can grow your own weed
If you’re over 21 and you don’t want to buy pot from specialty marijuana shops, you can legally grow up to six marijuana plants. But if you cultivate more than six, you will find yourself facing a misdemeanor charge and up to six months in county jail. You may also be meted a $500 fine.
You could wipe out previous marijuana convictions
The new law gives those who have prior marijuana convictions a chance to clean up their record. For example, if you were convicted of growing less than six plants at home, you can petition the courts to revisit your case and wipe out the record since the new law has already legalized growing that number of marijuana plants. And if your offense was classified as a felony but is now a misdemeanor under the new law, you can have that record changed as well.
Fines and jail time await those who sell pot without a license
You have to obtain a state license if you intend to sell marijuana. Fail to do so, and you will get slapped with a misdemeanor charge and face up to six months in jail and fines of up to $500 if you get caught.
You still have to wait until January 2018 to legally buy recreational pot
California has legalized recreational use, but you cannot legally buy any of it because the issuance of state licenses for selling the drug won’t start until January 2018. And since recreational users cannot legally buy from medical marijuana dispensaries, they will have to rely on the plants that they grow at home, or ask for it from medical marijuana users, who can share their weed but cannot sell it.