California banned cannabis in 1913, but penalties for using the drug have eased since the 1970s. t was the first state to legalize medical marijuana back in 1996, and became even more pot-friendly in 2016 when it made it legal to use and carry up to an ounce of marijuana without a prescription.
There was no place to legally buy bud, however, on January 1, 2018, the state began issuing licenses to marijuana dispensaries that allow them to sell nonmedical weed.
Since 2016, it has been legal to grow, possess and use small amounts of the drug. The state already has a booming marijuana industry, producing as much as seven times more cannabis than is consumed there. Much of this is sold illegally in other states.
Buy Weed, No Card Required
As of January 1, you no longer need a medical marijuana card to get yourself some pot. As long as you're 21 and over, you're able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana, or eight grams of concentrated cannabis. If you are a medical marijuana patient, you'll be exempt from the retail sales tax on medical cannabis if you possess a Medical Marijuana Identification Card issued by the California Department of Public Health.
More than a dozen U.S. states have now completely decriminalized the act of possessing marijuana and both Colorado and Washington have made it legal to possess, sell, transport and cultivate the plant.
In a historic and significant moment in American history, in November 2012, Colorado became the first US state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
According to Alex Traverso of California's Bureau of Cannabis Control, around 100 dispensaries in the state were licensed to sell cannabis for recreational use on Monday. The bureau had worked over the holiday period to try to process 1,400 licence applications for marijuana-related firms.
In 2011 the federal government decreed that marijuana had no accepted medical use use
and should remain classified as a highly dangerous drug like heroin. Accepting and promoting the powerful health benefits of marijuana would instantly cut huge profits geared towards cancer treatment and the U.S. would have to admit it imprisons the population for no cause. Nearly half of all drug arrests in the United States are for marijuana.
Recreational marijuana has already been legalised in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada and Washington. Legal sales of the drug are expected to begin in Massachusetts later this year.
"A third of the US now has legal access to marijuana for non-medical use," says Steve Rolles of the UK drug regulation think tank Transform. "California may be the straw that breaks the camel's back, forcing the government to review federal legislation which currently rules the drug to be illegal."
You can grow your own marijuana plants, up to six at a time. Since you're growing it yourself, you get to harvest and keep whatever your plants produce, though it must be in a locked container, out of view from the public. That plant can only be grown indoors, or inside an enclosed structure.
You Still Can't Smoke in Public
Smoking marijuana in public is still illegal, and brings with it a $100 fine. You can consume cannabis on private property but you cannot consume, smoke, eat, or vape cannabis in public places. Property owners and landlords may ban the use and possession of cannabis on their properties. You're also prohibited from consuming marijuana near schools and daycare centers, and can't have any marijuana when on school grounds. Of course, anyone under 21 is prohibited from possessing marijuana of any amount.
No Smoking and Driving, Either
You can have marijuana in your car, though driving while under the influence of marijuana is illegal, just like driving under the influence of alcohol. Also, that marijuana must be in a sealed container. If that seal is broken, you'll have to put your pot in the trunk of your car.