News — 20 November 2017

Taylor Lobb

@TAYLORLOBB

No medical card necessary.

No lies about glaucoma.

No excuses about anxiety, or back pain. Or insomnia.

California residents are now free to use marijuana recreationally.

This means at the turn of the calendar year, it will be legal to sell marijuana for recreational use. This is expected to initiate a crop of businesses to sell cannabis to adult California residents.

By February 2018, weed heads should be able to walk into a business and buy their favorite strand of sticky icky.

These new levels of legalization are the fruits of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, commonly known as Proposition 64. It was presented on ballots in November of 2016 and passed by a hair, with only 56 percent of voters approving the proposition.

The first phase of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act went into effect on Nov. 9th, allowing for the legal possession and consumption of up to a maximum of one ounce of the drug without needing medical clearance. The legality of retail sale was also enacted with Prop 64, allowing marijuana to be sold for recreational use for California residents 21 and over. But that phase of the Act won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2018.

On New Year’s Day, the state of California is required to grant businesses with access to licensing applications for the sale of recreational marijuana.

The proposition is backed by Governor Jerry Brown, who has been hard at work trying to prepare for such a monumental shift in the state. According to Rolling Stone writer S.E. Smith, in order to implement such an impactful change with a smooth transition, the governor has put together a detailed “budget trailer bill” which contains 79 pages. It describes the specific type of cannabis industry the government is intending to create and exactly how such a complex process will be executed.

While the governor has been potentially skeptical of the issue publicly, privately, according to the Bee, he has played a great role in “simmering tensions” between the houses and pinpointing how to address concerns that are at hand.

The Act also prohibits consumption of marijuana while driving or riding in a vehicle, punishable with a $70 fine, according to the LA Times.

“Instead of sitting on our hands,” assemblyman Tom Lackey told the Sacramento Bee, “we have come together in a bipartisan fashion to find a solution on how to regulate medical marijuana that works for all our local communities.”

This entirely new market is expected to make a huge impact on the state’s economy and its social structure.

HERE, INCLUDE PROJECTIONS ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY THIS WILL BRING THE STATE

The 44 percent of voters who did support Prop 64 will be forced to exist in a new climate where marijuana is normalized. While its use publicly is now legal, marijuana use will be prohibited near schools and within 20 feet of public businesses.

According to the Rolling Stone, legislation backing the issue is ensuring safety by implementing strict “testing requirements” regarding dosage and emphasizing contamination checks to prevent any negative health effects in its users.

For those who use marijuana medicinally, the existing laws apply.

Those obtaining marijuana as a prescription will not face a new tax or a price increase. But recreational purchases will.

More details on the exact value and dosages of recreational cannabis products will be revealed when the legislation is ratified closer to the end of 2017.

While marijuana is now sanctioned for recreational usage under California state law, it is important to note that it is not backed federally. In addition, California employers do still have the power to discriminate against marijuana users by considering a positive test result to be a valid reason for not hiring someone.

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Paris Ellis

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