Marijuana Legalization in California

Do you remember, on New Year’s Day 2017, when someone changed the Hollywood sign to say “Hollyweed” in Los Angeles, California? Well exactly a year later, marijuana was legalized in California.

At the start of the new year, 2018, marijuana was officially legalized in California under state law. By a margin of about 56% to 44%, voters passed the law about 20 years after California voted to be the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Many Californians believe that marijuana legalization will be great for the economy. But is that really true? What are the good and bad things about marijuana legalization?

This post will go into full detail on this recent legalization of marijuana in California. Feel free to leave any questions or comments down below!

Why Marijuana Was Legalized

So first let’s start with why marijuana was legalized here in the first place. Marijuana was originally legalized to allow adults (21 and up) to consume it whenever they want to. It was also legalized to bring wealth to the state. The state has imposed a 15% tax on all marijuana purchased for recreational purposes, collected by the marijuana distribution companies. The tax is supposed to pay for increased black market enforcement, environmental protection, and grants to help low-income individuals find work.

Some groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, wanted marijuana to be legalized as an aid to criminal justice reform. This is mainly because minorities are improperly arrested and jailed for marijuana-related offenses. But with marijuana now legal, some past marijuana-related offenders will have the chance to get their sentences reduced (meaning get out of jail early). And when those under the age of 18 are caught with marijuana, they will be sentenced with community service and drug counseling, instead of jail time.

A group known as Yes on 64 led a campaign to support Proposition 64. They were very optimistic about winning, and of course they did win. They had many good arguments in support of Prop 64, such as how it would generate income for the state through taxes, decrease law enforcement costs and black market activity, and protect children from marijuana use. Even though the law was passed, the group continues to support marijuana legalization, even on a nationwide level.

Details of the New Law

This new law, known as Proposition 64 (or Prop 64 for short), allows adults in California to possess up to one ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana for recreational use and be able to grow up to six plants. Adults can also share marijuana and marijuana plants with others, but no money can be involved, that’s when it becomes illegal. And as of January 1st, adults can also purchase marijuana from a licensed store.

But even though you can buy marijuana from a public store, you cannot smoke marijuana in public. Since the law is still new, lawmakers are still working out many details. So for now, the safest place to smoke marijuana legally is in a private residence. But when it comes to eating edibles, you can eat one just about anywhere since it more inconspicuous than smoking.

Speaking of edibles, California state law requires that edibles will have to have a low dosage, no more than 10 milligrams of THC per edible. Also, edibles must be kept in childproof containers and kept out of the reach of children. This is mainly due to what happened in Colorado. In 2014, Colorado’s largest children hospital reported that nine children had been brought in due to accidentally eating an edible.

New Crimes

The new law also comes with new crimes. For example, if you are caught smoking marijuana before or while you are driving, you can now get a DUI. How law enforcement will detect if someone is high will driving will be decided by the California Highway Patrol. In some cities in California, large billboards are placed on the side of freeways with the text: “drive high get a DUI.”

Even though marijuana is legal under state law, it is still illegal under federal law. This means that any federal agent could arrest anyone in the United States caught with marijuana. Licensed marijuana store owners and growers are also at risk of federal prosecution as drug dealers. However, individual customers should not worry, because federal agents have mostly targeted people growing marijuana intended for the black market.

You can also get in trouble for attempting to bring marijuana through an airport. Even if you are traveling from a state that has legalized marijuana to another state that has legalized marijuana, you still cannot travel with marijuana. Airport TSA are strict about drug enforcement, so it’s best to consume marijuana in the state that you bought it or grew it in.

Growing Legal Marijuana

When it comes to growing marijuana, any household, regardless of the amount of people living there, can grow up to six plants at a time. But you can’t grow marijuana anywhere, you must grow it in an enclosed area in your private residence. So trying to grow sativa plants in your backyard might be kind of tricky. You could grow it inside a big greenhouse or shed outside, however, such as this one:

This is all you need to know about marijuana legalization in California. We hope that our readers stay out of trouble and stay safe, and hopefully reading this helped. If you enjoyed this post, please drop a comment below. We are thinking of starting a new series of legalization in the other areas as well. What do you think? Thanks for reading!

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