A helpful way to think about new California Marijuana Law is to picture it having the legal restrictions of both alcohol and cigarettes combined because that’s pretty much how things work.
For example, like alcohol, you have to be 21 or older to legally possess or use it. It also has the same restrictions about use in public that alcohol does, so you can’t just stroll down the street casually puffing a joint, nor can you use it in a vehicle. Pursuant to the new California Marijuana Law, if you’re in an area where cigarette smoking is prohibited (like a bus stop), then you’re also in an area where marijuana use is prohibited — even if you’re using a vape pen or some similar means that doesn’t emit smoke.
Basically, recreational marijuana use has been made legal on private property by the new California Marijuana Law, if the owner of said property permits it. Said private property also can’t be open to the general public at the time. The idea of the law is basically to let adults who are 21 or older legally purchase marijuana from a licensed vendor, and then enjoy it in the privacy of a residence. However, landlords are still allowed to forbid marijuana use on their property by tenants if they so choose.
Possession is also forbidden in certain areas, even if you’re not using it and it is tucked away somewhere. For example, you can’t carry your marijuana onto school grounds, or just about any area where children are gathered. If you should happen to be searched while in one of these areas, you could be in serious trouble. Finally, there is a limit on how much you can have on you at one time — one ounce (1 oz.), which was the prior decriminalized limit. Carrying more than one ounce at a time is a misdemeanor charge with a fine of up to $500 and potential incarceration of up to six months.
Though marijuana is now technically legalized by the new California Marijuana Law, you can see that there are still plenty of legal restrictions to consider. If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney, feel free to contact the experienced legal team at Hammerschmidt Broughton for assistance.