California Votes For Legalized Recreational Pot
When California voters approved Proposition 64 on Tuesday, the basic idea was simple: a majority of people in America’s most populous state believe that adults should be able to consume marijuana if they feel like it, like a glass of wine at 5 o’clock. But the details of the proposition, which stretches more than 60 pages, are complicated.
By a margin of about 56% to 44%, voters passed Proposition 64, making California the fifth state to legalize recreational pot, after Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Later in the evening, results came in showing that voters in Massachusetts and Nevada did the same. The vote happened 20 years after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996.
So, What’s Legal Today?
There aren’t any adult-use pot shops yet. And, you can’t just walk into a medical dispensary without a patient card and start buying. But there is good news for those who would partake: for adults over the age of 21 in California, it is now legal to use, possess and share cannabis, as well as grow it at home. Adults can open their bags, plop in up to one ounce of flowers or eight grams of concentrate (like the stuff you put in vape pens) and go walk around in the world without fear of arrest.
When Can I Buy It?
Likely not until 2018. The state has a host of regulations to get through, and localities have the ability to put different rules in place too. It’s a lot of red tape. Certain areas that already have robust medical-marijuana businesses, like Oakland and San Francisco, might get through it sooner. But the deadline for the state to start issuing licenses to those eventual pot shops is Jan. 1, 2018, so that’s the safe bet.
Where Can It Be Consumed?
Adults cannot smoke or ingest weed in public. Though Proposition 64 will eventually allow for licensed on-site consumption, the safe thing to do is consume at private residences for now.
Will Edibles Be Available?
States watching Colorado’s trailblazing experiment have become wary of how they regulate edibles. In 2014, the largest children’s hospital in Colorado reported that nine children had been brought in after accidentally eating products that often look like treats or candy. In California, edibles will have to be low-dose; breaking off into sections with 10 milligrams of THC, the psychoactive agent, so people know exactly how much they are ingesting.
Can I Toke Up & Drive?
It’s still illegal to do drugs and operate a vehicle, boat, aircraft, and it will continue to be. The protocols can be set out by the California Highway Patrol.