Soon, Marijuana May be Smoked at Fairgrounds

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It has been over half a year since Californians voted to legalize marijuana for the state. However, in the public eye, it seems like there has been no change in the ability, freedom, and ease of growing, using, selling, and purchasing it. This is because the state first needs to lay out all the regulations, and they have until January 1, 2018 to do this. Since the November election, bills have been moving through legislation so the state is certainly working to meet their deadline. One bill that just passed the Senate is Assembly Bill 110.

Assembly Bill 110 mentions the use of marijuana at select local and state fairgrounds. This would mean California could have dedicated weed festivals that essentially act like a music festival, except instead of purchasing a ticket to listen to music, people would purchase tickets to legally buy marijuana and smoke it at one collective location with others who are there to enjoy the same thing. Privately-owned venues such as the Pomona Fairplex would be exempt from the bill.

Supporters like this because it is a way for people to gather and smoke marijuana legally, safely, and away from the public who would rather not inhale or smell marijuana. Nonetheless, there are people who are not too thrilled about the idea of marijuana festivals and the bill.

Assembly Bill 110 is not yet 100% passed, as it still must get approvals from other government departments. As we wait to hear more on that, we can look at what we do know will regulate legalized marijuana:

  • Penalties for most marijuana related offenses will be reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, and prior offenders can file to have their record changed to reflect this.
  • Driving while smoking marijuana will be a DUI, as it has always been.
  • Marijuana must be in a closed container when being transported.
  • Anyone 21 and over may possess and use up to 1 ounce of marijuana.
  • Anyone 21 and over may grow up to 6 marijuana plants in their home.
  • Just like cigarettes cannot be smoked in public places such as restaurants, marijuana cannot be either.

These are just a handful of rules that are in effect now or will be put into effect soon. The state has many more complex regulations to get through, and we will learn them all by January 1, 2018.

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Legalized Marijuana: What to Expect

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It has been about 6 months since Californians voted to legalize marijuana. However, full legalization has yet to kick in. In fact, it will not fully kick in until 2018. With that said, not many people know the timeline and what has and has not changed yet, nor do they know what full legalization really means for California.

Prop 64 was passed last year and will legalize marijuana usage for adults who are at least 21 years of age. California has until January 1, 2018 to get their regulations in order because that is when businesses can begin applying for licenses so they can legally grow and sell marijuana.

The following is a list of the many changes and laws that will be taking affect at the start of next year.

  • Driving while under the influence of marijuana will be illegal, as it currently is. Plus, marijuana must be stored in a closed container when the driver is behind the wheel.
  • Most felony penalties for growing, selling, transporting, or possessing marijuana will be reduced to misdemeanors. In addition, prior offenders are allowed to petition to have their criminal record changed to reflect a misdemeanor charge rather than a felony.
  • Legal-aged persons will be allowed to carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrates.
  • Legal-aged persons will be allowed to grow up to 6 plants at their residence.
  • Anyone who purchases marijuana from a licensed retailer in 2018 will also be charged a 15% tax.
  • It is illegal to smoke a cigarette in a public place.
  • Marijuana will follow the same suit. It will also be illegal to possess marijuana on school property.
  • Minors under the age of 18 would in no case face imprisonment if they were to be caught growing, selling, transporting, or possessing marijuana. Alternatively, they would have to take a drug education course and perform community service. Adults 18-20 on the other hand can possibly face prison time.
  • Because marijuana is illegal under federal law, possessing marijuana on federal property within California will remain illegal. This means that if someone goes camping in a California national park and is caught smoking marijuana, they are breaking the law and will be arrested.

These are just a handful of new regulations that California is getting ready for come January 1, 2018. You can expect that there will be more. Legalizing marijuana does not mean that it is a free for all to use.

It is still a drug that needs to be used with responsibility, caution, and regards to others who are less favorable of it.

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