Using marijuana recreationally simply means using it for personal enjoyment. In November last year, voters approved Proposition 64 throughout California. Now, any adult older than 21-years of age can use recreational cannabis legally, provided they adhere to state and county laws pertaining to it. It has no effect on medical patients, who use it legally under Proposition 215.
The benefits of recreational cannabis are both economic and personal. Legalizing weed for adult use will generate billions for state coffers, create much-needed jobs, and reduce incarceration rates and expenses. It also has health benefits. Whether using marijuana medicinally or not, it can still protect you from certain diseases and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Proposition 64 has far-reaching implications. It eliminates criminal penalties for adult use of cannabis at the state level, and it allows those currently serving prison sentences for cannabis-related offenses to petition for reduced penalties. It does not mean that people will never face charges for weed offenses, such as selling to kids or carrying more than allowed, but it does decriminalize reasonable use.
Legal adults no longer need to worry about cops pulling them over and finding a joint in their pockets anymore. However, should you use it? You are the only one who can decide whether to try cannabis or not, but it is important to note that nobody has ever died from it or suffered any long-term effects. Marijuana is safe, and here are some things to know about using it recreationally in California:
Recreational cannabis is not legal for sale yet
You cannot walk into a store and buy weed in California anytime soon. The state is still busy creating a regulatory environment for legal sales, which will continue into next year. Companies who want to sell recreational cannabis will need to apply for licensing. Even medical marijuana dispensaries will need to apply for new licenses if they plan to sell weed for recreational use too.
Medical marijuana patients can buy “gifts” for recreationally using friends
In the past, medical dispensaries were abiding by strict rules that prevented them from selling to anyone claiming to be “buying for a friend.” Proposition 64 lifted that ban, and now, adults can walk wherever they want with as much as an ounce of weed on their person, or roughly a sandwich bag’s worth. It also allows patients to “gift” an ounce to legal adults, whether friends or family members.
Legalization does not mean that you can consume publically
Public consumption remains illegal. You cannot eat marijuana edibles or smoke in public spaces unless there is a local ordinance that expressly permits it. You may also not consume any cannabis products within 1,000 feet of any area where children gather, such as daycare centers, playgrounds, and schools. Despite the fears of most conservatives, bong-carrying folk will not be invading the sidewalks.
Counties will have their own recreational cannabis laws
Some counties will prohibit the manufacture or even local storefront sales. Local jurisdictions have the right to create their own marijuana laws, and under this authority, some will ban shops, cultivation, distribution, manufacture, and production in certain zones, or as they see fit. Others will permit it. Recreational cannabis users may or may not need to cross county lines to buy it legally.
Recreational users can grow up to six plants at home
Under Proposition 64, anyone 21-years or older may cultivate up to six cannabis plants for personal use. However, those growing more than six plants may face misdemeanor charges, which come with a $500 fine and a possible six-month stay in county jail. If you want to grow your own marijuana, then you have the legal right to do so safely, provided you stay within these limits and adhere to county grow laws.
Marijuana plants are pungent. They have a fragrant, yet exceptionally powerful aroma that passersby might be able to smell. If you are growing in your garden, discuss these plans with your neighbors first, especially if they have young children, dogs, or cats that could wander onto your property, and always be aware of the smell wherever you plan to set up your grow room.
The benefits of recreational cannabis outweigh the cons. Not only is it good for your health, but it can boost your creativity and energy levels too. It can deepen relationships, help you think outside the box, and make food tastier than ever. It can give you a playful, giddy perspective that gives the small, joyful things in life new focus, and you will never know if recreational cannabis is for you without trying it first.