Despite the federal government regarding marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, California, on November 8th, 2016, voted for the recreational use of pot. This is not to mean that you can walk around smoking weed in the streets.
No, there were rules passed to govern how people would use marijuana in the state. The people under discussion included adults over 21 years, out-of-state visitors, and state residents.
All the guidelines are contained in the bill passed, commonly known as Proposition 64.
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Understanding Prop 64
Proposition 64 is now a law in California that legalizes the use of recreational marijuana. This law makes California the fourth state, after Washington, Oregon, and Colorado to decriminalize weed’s recreational use.
According to this law, people above 21 years can now grow, buy, or possess marijuana recreationally. Also, Prop 64 does not contradict the previously enact Compassionate Use Act (Prop 215) or the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act.
Despite the decriminalization of marijuana in California, carrying an excess of the stipulated amount is still considered a criminal offense. However, possessing, using, and growing marijuana cannot result in arrest, search, or detention.
When Did Prop 64 Take Effect?
Prop 64, also commonly known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, took effect on November 6th, 2016. The law, which allows adults above 21 years to use marijuana, offers guidelines on several aspects. These include:
- Who uses marijuana?
- Revenues and taxes from the sale and use of weed
- Health and safety code regarding the recreational use of pot
- Penal code for people caught carrying excess weed or selling to minors.
- The business aspect of the marijuana trade
According to Prop 64, anybody looking to venture into the growth or sale of recreational marijuana must first acquire a state-issued license.
California Medical Card Rules
California holds first place among states legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. In 1996, California passed the Compassionate Use Act, which allowed patients with certain medical conditions to use pot for their treatment.
According to Prop 215:
- Patients and caregivers possessing or growing marijuana for medical use were exempted from penalties.
- Doctors recommending the use of cannabis to treat their patients shall not face criminal charges.
- Patients with qualifying conditions should have a valid state-issued medical marijuana card to protect them from criminal prosecution.
California created the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program under the Department of Public Health to help patients and designated caregivers access medical marijuana.
After the passing of Prop 215, patients could cultivate, possess, and transport marijuana with no prosecution. However, there were conditions attached. Some of these include:
- The marijuana is for personal use, or you are a designated caregiver.
- The weed is taken to alleviate the symptoms of a severe medical condition.
- You should have an MMIC or a recommendation from a California state-licensed medical health professional.
- Medical marijuana can be prescribed to over 21 years of age or above 18 years with consent from both parents.
- The weed should be high CBD, low THC strains.
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So, What Are the Requirements to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in California?
Different counties in California work on different schedules. Book an appointment when applying for a medical marijuana card. To check on the address and contact information of your county’s office.
When applying for a medical marijuana identification card, there are some essential documents you need to present to the county offices. These include:
- A recommendation from a California state-licensed doctor.
- A valid government-issued ID or Californian Driver’s license.
- You can also use your Californian state ID card, a Veteran’s Administration ID, or a US passport.
- A photo.
- Proof of residence- these are documents showing your name and address. They could include:
- Mortgage or rent agreement
- A bank Statement
- Voter registration in California
- A DMV registration within California
- Utility bill, not older than a month
California Medical Card for Non-residents
California allows non-residents to access medical marijuana within the state. However, before you can buy medical marijuana from the local dispensary, you need a recommendation from a medical physician licensed within California, a valid driver’s license, a federal or state ID.
NOTE: You cannot carry marijuana into or out of the state of California. So, if you are traveling to California, get your documents in order.
Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana Use in California
Upon the enforcement of Prop 64, a few variations existed between California medical marijuana and California marijuana Prop 64 rules. Some of these rules include:
- Medical marijuana has a limitation to the content of THC, while recreational marijuana does not.
- Also, recreational marijuana is more expensive compared to medical weed. This is because patients with medical marijuana IDs get a tax exemption.
- The sale of recreational marijuana is limited to adults, while medical marijuana can be sold to minors with approval from parents and with a caregiver.
- To access medical marijuana, you must show a state-issued MMIC, while recreational sale only requires a valid ID.
- Recreational users cannot buy marijuana from medical marijuana dispensaries unless the business opens sales to said people.
However, there are also some standard rules governing both medical and recreational marijuana. These include:
- Users of either medical or recreational marijuana cannot sell marijuana to others. Only licensed businesses can sell weed products.
- Both users can grow their marijuana plants, but the quantity is limited to 6 plants.
- Both users are exempted from prosecution because they possess or use weed, provided they remain within the stipulated limits.
However, you can face criminal charges when:
- You smoke or medicate and drive.
- Sell marijuana to underage people.
- Use marijuana publicly
- You sell marijuana around schools, daycares, and youth centers.
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Smoking and using marijuana in California is now legal. Since the enactment of Prop 64, recreational use of marijuana became possible, with the age limit being 21 years and above. However, to access medical marijuana, you need a state-issued ID from the Californian department of health.
There are also public dispensaries in California, where you can buy your recreational pot or grow them in your home. As for California medical marijuana, you can access it from different state-licensed dispensaries.