Legal Cannabis in California - The Basics on Recreational Marijuana Law

California voters passed Proposition 64, aka the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), legalizing recreational use of cannabis. In 1996 California became the 1st state to legalize medical marijuana, and California has now become became the 5th state to legalize recreational pot, after Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

The same day Massachusetts and Nevada also voted to legalize! (stay tuned to the site for more info on that soon!)

“Marijuana is now going to be a legal commodity like alcohol,” - Tamar Todd, legal director of Drug Policy Action

As of November 9, 2016 if you’re 21 or older in California you can:

  • Possess up to 1 oz of herbal cannabis and/or 8 grams of cannabis concentrates
  • Grow up to 6 plants in your home
  • Consume cannabis on private property
  • Have you criminal record cleaned of now legal "crimes"
  • Grow industrial hemp

But you can't:

  • Consume or smoke cannabis in public
  • Buy from a medical dispensary, unless you have a medical card
  • Smoke anywhere smoking tobacco is prohibited; bars, restaurants etc.
  • Drive while high (you shouldn't drive impaired from anything!)
  • Open a cannabis shop cannot be within 600 feet of daycare centers, schools & other youth centers
  • Sell alcohol or tobacco alongside cannabis
  • Advertise or sell to minors (bring an ID!)

Local governments will be able to add their own laws, which may ban recreational cannabis stores in their area. Poway, Santee, San Marcos, Lemon Grove and National City already voted to do so before the law was even voted on! The state will also not issue licenses for commercial cultivation until January 2018, which would mean you can grow, smoke and share - but not buy cannabis.

As with all laws, Prop 64 has its benefits and drawbacks, but atleast now Californians can sit back and smoke a joint in the privacy of their own home without fear of arrest!


California has been at the forefront of cannabis culture for many years, take a look at a recent Medical Cannabis Cup event in California below!