Now that California has legalized recreational marijuana for adult use, it doesn't mean you can drop by your neighborhood store and pick up a pack of pre-rolls and enjoy a toke walking down the street. What are the new cannabis rules?
Here are the do's and don'ts for Californians and those of you visiting the state:
When do the marijuana stores open?
You are going to have to wait until January 2018 -- yep, more than a year - before the state sanctions recreational stores. Medical patients can still go to existing dispensaries for their medicine.
Can I just go to a medical marijuana dispensary and buy it?
Nope. Medical dispensaries are for qualified patients. If you have a qualifying medical condition, you are eligible for a card.
Then how do I get some?
Well, you need a connection. Adults are allowed to give (not sell) up to one ounce of dried herb or eight grams of concentrate to another adult.
What about growing my own?
Californians are allowed to grow up to six plants inside their residences or outside in an enclosed structure. The grow area needs to be out of public view and securely locked. So if you can wait for a harvest, you are good to go. But until then, you'll have to get it from a friend,
Can my company still fire me if I fail a drug test?
Yep. Employers are allowed to follow their own drug policies. So if you work in a drug-free workplace, you may want to hold off celebrating with a victory joint.
If a law enforcement officer smells weed, is that probable cause?
Nope. The odor of weed no longer constitutes probable cause. You do not have to agree to a search of your person, car or home. It's the law!
Can I give some of my stash to a friend?
Yes. But, technically, it is illegal to sell to a friend. The law allows for a "gift" of up to one ounce of dried herb or eight grams of concentrate.
Can I smoke in public?
Nope. You can smoke in the privacy of your own home or the home of someone else. But no smoking in a park or bar or anywhere in public.
What happens if I smoke in public?
There is a fine of $100 for smoking in public. If you smoke marijuana in a place that also outlaws tobacco smoking, the fine is $250.
What about driving while impaired?
Don't do it. Ever. Drugged driving laws are the same as drunk driving laws. And, like alcohol, it's against the law to have an open container of pot in your car.
I have a marijuana arrest on my record. Can I get it expunged?
Yes. Prop. 64 retroactively reduces criminal records. If you have a pending case, chances are it will be tossed out before going to court. If you have an older arrest, you can petition the court for a reduced sentence or have it totally dropped.