Prop 64: Five rules everyone should know about recreational marijuana in California
Proposition 64, otherwise called “the Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” passed with a sweeping 56.2% of the vote on Nov. 8, making California the 5th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Adults over the age of 21 can now smoke nonmedical marijuana legally, but that doesn’t make it a free for all. There are still a few restrictions you need to be aware of:
1. You cannot smoke in public
While it might sound like a good idea to pack a pipe to your picnic this weekend you should definitely reconsider. The new law states it “prohibit[s] the consumption of marijuana in a public place unlicensed for such use, including near K–12 schools and other areas where children are present.” Don’t plan on taking marijuana to California parks or beaches either. A bill backed by Sen. Marty Block, SB 1333, is currently being pushed through the state assembly that will ban smoking, cigarettes, and marijuana, in most wildlife areas except those designated by the Director of Parks and Recreation.
Surely a public smoking ban is not too much of a shock, but it may be allowed in the future. The new law allows local governments to apporove city ordinances to regulate where marijuana can be smoked in public. This same autonomy is what has allowed Denver, CO voters to pass a law making it legal for bars and restaurants to permit their patrons to use marijuana at their businesses. In the meantime, it is advised to keep your cannabis consumption refined to a private residence, like your house or a friend’s place.
2. You can carry up to 1 ounce (28.5 grams)
While you can carry up to an ounce of non-concentrated marijuana, be warned that there is an “open container” clause in the law that disallows drivers from keeping an open container of marijuana in the passenger seat or glove compartment. That being said, transporting weed should be done cautiously. If you plan on driving with marijuana in your car it would be best to put it in the trunk or a place that is not accessible to the driver or passengers.
3. You can grow up to 6 plants at your home
Under the new law you can legally grow, harvest, dry and process no more than 6 marijuana plants in your home or backyard so long as they are not visible from a publically accessible place i.e. the street in front of your house. Local governments could enact laws preventing outdoor grows but you would still be allowed to use an enclosure in your backyard so long as it is secured.
4. You cannot smoke and drive
In accordance with pre-existing DUI law, it is unlawful to operate a car or other vehicle while impaired by marijuana. While field testing for marijuana intoxication is not yet perfect, law enforcement can conduct a field sobriety test if they suspect the driver is under the influence of marijuana by performing a:
– Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (Eye) Test
– Walk and Turn Test
– One Leg Stand Test
– Blood, Breath, or Urine Test
– Saliva Drug Swab Test
All of these tests leave room for doubt as they are not entirely accurate, however, if you find yourself facing Marijuana DUI charges it is vital to have an experienced defense attorney fighting for you. Additionally, some of the tax revenue from the new law will go to developing more accurate field tests for marijuana, so be warned.
5. Inmates can seek reduced sentencing and criminal records can be expunged
If you were tried and convicted for possession of marijuana and are currently serving a prison sentence you are eligible for resentencing so long as the penalty is reduced by the new act; and the courts determine you do not pose a threat to public safety. Furthermore, if you have previously served a sentence for which this act applies you may petition to expunge your criminal record. While the new act will not help you get back the time you have served at least you can have a clean slate moving forward. If you are attempting to reduce your sentence or expunge your record hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through the process.
If you need legal assistance please call Raven Law today at (916) 300-1600 for a free consultation.
To read the new law in full please visit: http://vig.cdn.sos.ca.gov/2016/general/en/pdf/text-proposed-laws.pdf#prop64