California legalized marijuana smoking in January 2018. The move is good news for the state’s residents and tourists. Despite this, there are still many laws in California that restrict the use of cannabis. These laws must be understood by both residents and tourists, or they put themselves at risk of a bad trip and arrest.
Who Is Allowed to Smoke?
If you are 21 years or older, you can smoke, whether you live in California or not. One can purchase approximately 1 ounce (28.5 grams) of the smokable stuff each day, along with small amounts of oils, edibles, and similar items. Adults between the ages of 18 and 21 can only smoke medical marijuana with a physician’s prescription or California marijuana shops nearby medical marijuana ID card. There are approximately 1,700 marijuana dispensaries located throughout the state; all you need is a government-approved form of identification, such as a driver’s license.
Where Can I Smoke Marijuana?
The most common concern of marijuana users is where to get high. While marijuana is legal in California, nearly all property in the state-public and private-is off-limits to its use. In a few small pockets of legal use, mainly private residences, there is legal use.
Californians or their guests are not restricted from smoking in private homes if they own the residence. However, the owner or landlord can prohibit marijuana use on their property for renters or guests staying for short periods of time. This is commonly done. When you are in the unfortunate position of living or staying in a property that prohibits marijuana use, there are a few options available.
The California Cannabis Act made it legal to use marijuana in smoking lounges. Most smoking lounges are connected to dispensaries. The majority of the California smoking lounges are located in the state’s large cities and tourist areas. However, California cities can outlaw smoking lounges within their limits, and many have.
In cities deciding whether to allow lounges, more and more are being planned. In addition, marijuana-accepted lodging is a legal location to grow marijuana. Marijuana is allowed in many resorts, Airbnb listings, and events. You will find a number of providers marketing to pot smokers if you do a quick Google search.
Are There Any Other Things Users Need to Know?
Most marijuana users will have trouble transporting their marijuana, and the law is strict in this area. It is illegal to smoke in vehicles, or any type of transportation vehicle, for that matter. When transporting pot or edibles, they must be in the intact, sealed container they were purchased in-or in an acceptable childproof container. Otherwise, containers that have been opened must be locked outside the cab, like the trunk of a vehicle.
When police suspect use while driving, they will treat it as if it were drinking and driving — a very serious offense. Marijuana impairment cannot be determined through standard testing methods. Police will look for certain signs of marijuana impairment in drivers, signs which are also sometimes present in drivers who are not impaired. When using or transporting marijuana, users should be cautious and take public transportation or taxis to get around. Smokers leaving a smoking lounge or legal smoking event and getting into their vehicles may be sitting ducks for law enforcement.
It is still illegal under federal law to possess marijuana, so there is still concern with enforcement by the federal government. However, as of late 2018, federal law enforcement did not appear to be taking any action.
It is important for residents and tourists to be prepared for questions from law enforcement if they possess, transport, or use marijuana. Criminal defense attorneys in southern California, as well as those in northern California and San Diego, are all ready to step in and assist those in trouble.