Yes. Use of weed or Cannabis is legal in California.
Weed can be grown, stored or consumed by any adult in the state of California.
Cannabis, or Marijuana, is a plant with psychoactive properties and has been used for medicinal purposes for the last 20 years.
The medical use of weed in the state was legalized on 5 November 1996, after 55% people voted in favor to approve Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Use of weed for any other purposes remained illegal in the state.
Weed for recreation is legalized
On 8 November 2016, the people of California voted to approve Proposition 64, allowing the consumption of Cannabis for recreational use. Under the new amendment, any adult in the state of California can legally grow, carry or consume weed. With this, California became the fifth state after Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska to allow consumption of recreational pot.
However, the sale of weed from retail stores is still illegal. It is expected to become legal from 1 Jan 2018. For now, in urban areas, an individual is allowed to grow upto six plants of Cannabis at home for personal consumption.
In rural areas, it can be grown in larger quantities in farms. A plant or seedling of weed can be given but not sold to anyone. Also, weed cannot be smoked or consumed in public places nor can it be taken outside the state.
Weed – the new cash crop
Post-legalization, weed has emerged as the new cash crop for farmers in California. Since 8 November last year, there has been a surge in farmers shifting from growing grapes to cannabis. The potential to make quick profits has led to a sudden increase in land acquisition for weed farming with investors trying to buy out available land. This has led to a surge in farm land prices.
Counties of Sonoma, Napa, Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino are witnessing cannabis farms mushroom where grape farms once covered the land.
Lawmakers are working with local growers to develop Northern California as a major marijuana growing belt. Given its potential, it is anticipated that weed tourism will soon overtake winery tourism that has been very popular in the state.
Concerns over edible weed
Weed can be consumed by smoking, inhaling, drinking (tea) or eating. It is the edible form that is causing concern with reports of children inadvertently consuming cannabis available in various edible forms. The authorities are in the process of codifying the levels of cannabis in edible forms to regulate/restrict access to children and teenagers through child-proof packaging.
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