It has been about 6 months since Californians voted to legalize marijuana. However, full legalization has yet to kick in. In fact, it will not fully kick in until 2018. With that said, not many people know the timeline and what has and has not changed yet, nor do they know what full legalization really means for California.
Prop 64 was passed last year and will legalize marijuana use for adults who are at least 21 years of age. California has until January 1, 2018 to get their regulations in order because that is when businesses can begin applying for licenses so they can legally grow and sell marijuana.
The following is a list of the many changes and laws that will be taking affect at the start of next year.
- Driving while under the influence of marijuana will be illegal, as it currently is. Plus, marijuana must be stored in a closed container when the driver is behind the wheel.
- Most felony penalties for growing, selling, transporting, or possessing marijuana will be reduced to misdemeanors. In addition, prior offenders are allowed to petition to have their criminal record changed to reflect a misdemeanor charge rather than a felony.
- Legal-aged persons will be allowed to carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrates.
- Legal-aged persons will be allowed to grow up to 6 plants at their residence.
- Anyone who purchases marijuana from a licensed retailer in 2018 will also be charged a 15% tax.
- It is illegal to smoke a cigarette in a public place. Marijuana will follow the same suit. It will also be illegal to possess marijuana on school property.
- Minors under the age of 18 would in no case face imprisonment if they were to be caught growing, selling, transporting, or possessing marijuana. Alternatively, they would have to take a drug education course and perform community service. Adults 18-20 on the other hand can possibly face prison time.
- Because marijuana is illegal under federal law, possessing marijuana on federal property within California will remain illegal. This means that if someone goes camping in a California national park and is caught smoking marijuana, they are breaking the law and will be arrested.
These are just a handful of new regulations that California is getting ready for come January 1, 2018. You can expect that there will be more. Legalizing marijuana does not mean that it is a free for all to use. It is still a drug that needs to be used with responsibility, caution, and regards to others who are less favorable of it.