California Legalizes Marijuana For Recreational Use

The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act

On November 8, 2016, California, through the ballot process, legalized the recreational use of Marijuana by passing the “The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act”

California represents over 12% of the nation’s total population. It now joins the growing list of Marijuana legal states like Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

Under California’s new law, purchasers of Marijuana must be 21 years of age or older will and be allowed to possess about an ounce of marijuana. On the private side, it will be legal to grow up to six cannabis plants on private property so long as the plants are out of public view.

Transition Phase

The transition from medical to recreational use of Marijuana includes a phase-in state administrative process that will provide for the laws and regulations that will govern the commercial and health and safety requirements of the new law.

Trouble-Tips:

Now that marijuana is legal in California, will I be able to take Marijuana on a plane?

No. It is important to know that under Federal Law, possession or sale Marijuana is still a felony. This means you will not be able possess marijuana across state lines. It is also questionable whether intrastate flights within California triggers Federal jurisdiction given that federal law preempts state law in matters of aviation.

Now that Marijuana is legal can I use Marijuana while driving a motor vehicle?

No. Driving while impaired still violates California law. The term “impaired” means that the driver is unable to operate a motor vehicle safely and therefor the driving is illegal. The reach of California’s V.C. 23152, for example, includes being impaired by alcohol or drugs, whether legal and illegally obtained. In the same sense, if stopped while driving, it will not be any help to you show the police officer your Medical Marijuana identification card. If anything, you have just given the police officer probable cause to believe you may be under the influence of cannabis.

Below is the summary of the “Findings and Declarations” of the new law:

FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS

Prior to this law being enacted, except for Medical Marijuana, California has been a nonmedical marijuana state which means it has otherwise been unregulated, untaxed, and devoid of environmental protections.

The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act will legalize marijuana for those over 21 years old, protect children, and establish laws to regulate marijuana cultivation, distribution, sale and use, and will protect Californians and the environment from potential dangers. It establishes the Bureau of Marijuana Control within the Department of Consumer Affairs to regulate and license the marijuana industry.

Currently, Marijuana is currently legal in our state for medical use and illegal for non-medical use. Abuse of the medical marijuana system in California has long been widespread, but recent bipartisan legislation signed by Governor Jerry Brown is establishing a comprehensive regulatory scheme for medical marijuana. The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act will consolidate and streamline regulation and taxation for both non-medical and medical Marijuana.

Currently, Marijuana is not being taxed by the State of California, which means the state is missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars in potential tax revenue every year. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act will tax both the growth and sale of marijuana to generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

The revenues will cover the cost of administering the new law and will provide funds to: invest in public health programs that educate youth to prevent and treat serious substance abuse; train local law enforcement to enforce the new law with a focus on DUI enforcement; invest in communities to reduce the illicit market and create job opportunities; and provide for environmental cleanup and restoration of public lands damaged by illegal Marijuana cultivation.

By legalizing marijuana, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act will incapacitate the black market, and move marijuana purchases into a legal structure with strict safeguards against children accessing it. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act prohibits the sale of non-medical Marijuana to those under the age of 21 years old, and provides new resources to educate youth against drug abuse and train local law enforcement to enforce the new law.

The new law will also prohibit Marijuana businesses from being located within 600 feet of schools and other areas where children congregate. It establishes mandatory and strict packaging and labeling requirements for marijuana and marijuana products. And it mandates that marijuana and marijuana products cannot be advertised or marketed towards children.

Previous Legislation

California’s Medical Marijuana Law – Prop 215 Compassionate Use Act

Section: 11362.5. (a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. (b) (l) The people of the State of California hereby find and declare that the purposes of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 are as follows:

(A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.

(B) To ensure that patients and their primary caregivers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction.

(C) To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.

(2) Nothing in this act shall be construed to supersede legislation prohibiting persons from engaging in conduct that endangers others, nor to condone the diversion of marijuana for nonmedical purposes.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no physician in this state shall be punished, or denied any right or privilege, for having recommended marijuana to a patient for medical purposes.

(d) Section 11357, relating to the possession of marijuana, and Section 11358, relating to the cultivation of marijuana, shall not apply to a patient, or to a patient’s primary caregiver, who possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician.

(e) For the purposes of this section, “primary caregiver” means the individual designated by the person exempted under this act who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person.

Sec. 2. If any provision of this measure or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the measure which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this measure are severable.

Other States That Legalized Marijuana:

2016 Update On Other Permissive Marijuana States: Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

Alaska – Legalized

Removed statewide criminal sanctions against the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by registered patients who can show valid written documentation from their physician saying that they “might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.”

Arizona

Permits qualified patients with a physician’s certified statement that the patient has been diagnosed with a “debilitating condition” and that they would likely receive “benefit from marijuana” to obtain marijuana from a registered nonprofit marijuana dispensary.

California – Legalized

November 8, 2016, California has legalized the sale, growth and consumption of Marijuana for recreational purposes.

Colorado – Legalized

Removes criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician affirming that he or she suffers from a debilitating condition and advising that they “might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.”

Connecticut

“A qualifying patient shall register with the Department of Consumer Protection… prior to engaging in the palliative use of marijuana. A qualifying patient who has a valid registration certificate… shall not be subject to arrest or prosecution, penalized in any manner, or denied any right or privilege.”

DC – District of Columbia

Allows patients to purchase up to two (2) ounces of dried medical marijuana per month or the equivalent of two ounces of dried medical marijuana when sold in any other form.”

Delaware

The law does not allow patients or caregivers to grow marijuana at home, but it does allow for the state-regulated, non-profit distribution of medical marijuana by compassion centers that have been approved and registered by the state.

Hawaii

Eliminates criminal penalties relative to the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a valid and executed statement from their physician stating that the patient suffers from a “debilitating condition” and that the “potential benefits of medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks.”

Illinois

Established a pilot program in the state, which establishes a patient registry program and protects registered patients and registered caregivers from “arrest, prosecution, or denial of any right or privilege,” and allows for the registration of cultivation centers and dispensing organizations.

Maine – Legalized

Eliminates criminal penalties relative to the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a physicians “professional opinion” that the patient “might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.”

Maryland

Allows a patient to possess up to 30-day supply of marijuana. Beginning June 1, 2016, the state will issue the number of dispensary seller licenses relative to the demand for medical marijuana by qualifying patients and caregivers.

Massachusetts – Legalized

Persons may possess “no more marijuana than is necessary for the patient’s personal, medical use, not exceeding the amount necessary for a sixty-day supply…”

Michigan

Qualified persons may possess up to two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marijuana and twelve marijuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility.

Minnesota

Plans to register two major Minnesota manufacturers/growers for the production of all medical cannabis within the state. Manufacturers/growers are required to ensure that the medical cannabis sold contains a maximum of a “30-day supply” of the dosage determined for that patient by the medical provider.

Montana

Qualified patients and their caregivers may each possess six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana. “Usable marijuana” means the dried leaves and flowers of marijuana and any mixture or preparation of marijuana.

Nevada – Legalized

Eliminates criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who have “written documentation” from their physician that marijuana “may” alleviate his or her medial condition.

New Hampshire

“A qualifying patient shall not obtain more than 2 ounces of usable cannabis directly or through the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver during a 10-day period.”

New Jersey

Allows “patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary caregivers, and those who are permitted to produce medical marijuana for medicinal purposes” and protects said patients from “arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties.”

New Mexico

Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use and possession of marijuana by patients “in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.” The New Mexico Department of Health designated to administer the program and register patients, caregivers, and providers.

New York

New York medical marijuana laws are complex. New York recently announced plans to permit limited use of medical marijuana in 20 hospitals, which will be able to prescribe marijuana to people with cancer, glaucoma or other diseases itemized on the states list of debilitating conditions.

Oregon – Legalized

Removes criminal penalties relative to the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a executed recommendation from their physician stating that marijuana “may mitigate” the patients debilitating symptoms.

Pennsylvania

Medically Permissive state that allows patients suffering from certain conditions to obtain a medical prescription for Marijuana.

Rhode Island

Permits qualified patients to possess and grow to up to 12 marijuana plants or 2.5 ounces of cultivated marijuana. Primary caregivers may not lawfully possess in excess of 24 marijuana plants and five ounces of usable marijuana.

Vermont

Primary caregivers may not possess an amount of marijuana in excess of 24 marijuana plants and five ounces of usable marijuana for qualified and which is consistent with the Department’s registration process.

Washington – Legalized

Eliminated criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess “valid documentation” from their physician stating that the patient suffers from a debilitating condition and that the “potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks.”

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