Blog Post #3
Past, Present, and Future of Cannabis in California
In 1996, California became the first state to legalize the medical use of marijuana under Proposition 215. For the past 20 years it’s been the same until just a few months in November, California voted yes on 64. As many of us know, Proposition 64 legalized the use of recreational marijuana making California one out of the other eight states. So what now? Our first thought is Woooo! Weed is legal let’s spark up right here on the streets! Before we do that let’s explore marijuana’s past rules and regulations, and see what has changed now and how it will and could in the future.
Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, was the law that legalized the medical uses of marijuana. After the approval, California had to set precedent for the rest of the country since it was the first state to take a big step forward and legalize medical use. The California State Legislature needed to establish three points in regards to make medical use lawful. California needed to establish a voluntary statewide identification card system, set limits on amounts each person could possess, and also set rules for the cultivation for both patients and businesses. To obtain pot legally, one needed a medical marijuana card. Some of the illnesses covered are cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief. Patients must be 18 years or older or have a parent’s approval if younger. In regards to possession, although each county has its own laws, in San Francisco patients could obtain up to 8 ounces of marijuana and as for cultivation, up to 100 square feet for personal medical use. And of course, the use, cultivation or sale of marijuana without a medical card is illegal.
Now that Proposition 64 has passed a lot of people are asking the question What is really gonna change? Can I smoke wherever I want now? Although marijuana is legal for those 21 and older there is still many regulations to the law. Something all of us Californians should know is smoking in public is STILL ILLEGAL, just like drinking in public. Persons 21 and older are allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of weed (28.5 grams); and having this amount on you does not give police the right to search or detain you. In addition, you are allowed to grow up to 6 marijuana plants in your own home. Something that is of big change is some people may be able to clean up their legal record. Yes you heard that right! You are allowed to go to court to petition your past marijuana convictions.
So it may seem as simple as that, weed is legal now and we are free to smoke on our private property. Yes, those changes were taken in effect immediately but still there are big changes coming up in January 2018. Since the state has many regulations to get through shops won’t open up till 2018. California legislature will be giving out state licenses to businesses that want to sell pot. This is because now that is it legal for recreational use the retail and cultivation taxes will than go into effect. For now, it is technically illegal to purchase pot, but if somehow you were to get is as a gift that would be okay.