Recreational marijuana became legal in California January 1st, meaning this is the first year cannabis has been available to all adults on the infamous marijuana holiday of 4/20. While it is perfectly legal to enjoy the festivities, our experienced attorneys also know that Proposition 64 is not a free pass on all pot-related activities. Before imbibing in a safe and responsible way, keep in mind the laws remaining on the books per the CA Health and Safety Code, Division 10, Ch. 6, Article 2 could still result in criminal charges or civil citations.
The following is a list of a few major restrictions to keep in mind when enjoying the perks of recreational marijuana in California:
- Public consumption: It is still generally illegal to ingest, smoke, or vaporize weed in a public place. There are some exceptions for state-licensed facilities with permission from local governments. Further, any non-smoking area is also off limits for smoking or vaporizing marijuana. It is also forbidden within 1,000 feet of a day care or school occupied by children (unless you are inside a private residence that falls within that perimeter).
- Drugged driving: It should be a no-brainer that it is illegal to drive while under the influence of cannabis. As a recent article from The Sacramento Bee points out, taking one puff or consuming a small amount is not likely to cause impairment, much like a little alcohol is typically fine. However, it is more difficult to know where that line exists with marijuana. THC levels can vary widely, making it less clear what dose a person can consume without impairment. Marijuana can also set in slowly, meaning it could hit well after consumption, possibly while you’re on the road. This makes it difficult to judge simply by how you feel before you get in the car.Just like alcohol, drivers should be aware that open container laws also apply to cannabis. Open or unsealed containers of marijuana must be kept in the trunk, with the exception of those with a medical marijuana card. In those instances, cannabis can be in the main part of the vehicle, but still must be in a closed container. Our attorneys cannot emphasize enough, these laws also apply to passengers. The laws also apply to other motor vehicles, like boats and aircrafts.
- Age restriction: You must be 21 years of age or older to consume cannabis recreationally. Period. The reasons for this restriction are not simply adults trying to ruin all the fun. Cannabis has been shown to potentially have a negative effect on developing brains, making young people who consume marijuana more susceptible to certain disorders.
- Drug-free workplaces: Even if you have a super cool boss who doesn’t drug test and doesn’t mind if you use recreationally in your free time, chances are they do not approve of being under the influence while on the job. Don’t lose your career over something that can just as easily be enjoyed on your own time. And be extra cautious if you do not have a cool boss. California does not yet have in place protections for workers who test positive for cannabis, even though it’s legal in the state.
Our Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense lawyers first and foremost want everyone who is celebrating the “high holy day” to do so in a way that is safe. If you do find yourself in trouble, you need a skilled defense attorney like ours on your side who has the experience to provide strong representation for all marijuana-related criminal offenses.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
California Cannabis Laws, California NORML
More Blog Entries:
Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyers Available to Represent 4/20 Arrestees, April 24, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyers Blog