California voters approved Proposition 64 (Adult Use of Marijuana Act) in November 2016 to legalize recreational cannabis throughout the state. On January 1, 2018, the sale of recreational marijuana officially became legal. Although it is now legal to enjoy recreational marijuana, there are still several laws you must follow to avoid criminal charges.
The following is an overview of California recreational marijuana laws:
What is the age limit to purchase cannabis in California?
Individuals who are at least 21 years old can legally purchase, possess, and use marijuana in the state. However, those who are at least 18 years of age can also purchase, possess, and use cannabis if they have a current qualifying doctor’s recommendation or a valid medical marijuana ID card.
How much cannabis can I legally possess?
Individuals who are at least 21 can purchase and have up to one ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana and up to eight grams of concentrated pot. Additionally, they can possess up to six cannabis plants in their home. Exceeding these amounts is considered a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum six-month jail sentence and a maximum $500 fine.
Those who are at least 18 with a medical marijuana clearance can possess up to eight ounces of cannabis and up to six mature plants. Those who are at least 18 and do not have a medical marijuana card can be charged with an infraction, which is punishable by a fine, drug counseling, and/or community service.
Can I carry pot on my person?
Yes. You can drive with marijuana in your vehicle as long as the container remains sealed and hasn’t been opened. If it has been opened, store the cannabis in the trunk. Driving with an open container of marijuana is an infraction, punishable by a maximum $100 fine.
Can I use marijuana in public?
No. You cannot consume or smoke cannabis in public. Doing so is considered an infraction, which carries a maximum $100 fine. However, if you smoke or use marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare, youth center, or any area where children are present, the infraction costs up to $250.
Where can I use cannabis?
You can only consume cannabis on private property that is out of sight from public view.
Can I get a DUI for driving under the influence of cannabis?
Yes. A marijuana-based DUI is punishable by the same criminal penalties as an alcohol-based DUI in California.
Can I travel with cannabis from California?
Since marijuana is still classified by the federal government as a Schedule I narcotic, crossing state lines with pot bought in California is against the law—even if you plan on traveling to another state that legalized recreational marijuana.