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Recreational Marijuana Legalized in Calif.: What You Need to Know

Californians have voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana for people ages 21 and older. (growweedeasy/Morguefile)
Californians have voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana for people ages 21 and older. (growweedeasy/Morguefile)
November 9, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - At the stroke of midnight, recreational use of marijuana became legal in California - but there are a few important details about the new law.

It now is legal for adults age 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana or eight grams of concentrated cannabis for personal use. People can carry that amount around, but if they're in a car it must be in a locked container.

Dale Gieringer, director of the California chapter of the National Organization for Reforming Marijuana Laws (NORML), said there are limits on how much people are allowed to grow.

"They can also grow up to six plants at their residence in a secure, locked location," he said, "preferably indoors, but outdoors in locations that permit it."

Use of medical marijuana continues as before. Retail sales of recreational marijuana won't be allowed until state-licensed businesses open their doors in January 2018.

Gieringer said it's important to note that lighting up in public is still a no-no.

"People should also beware that there is no public use allowed," he said, "so, no smoking or consumption of any sort of marijuana in a public place. You have to do it privately; and no smoking or even vaping in nonsmoking areas."

It also is illegal to smoke or vaporize marijuana at or within 1,000 feet of a daycare or school, except in a private residence that happens to be near those types of facilities.

More information about Proposition 64 from the California Secretary of State's office is online at voterguide.sos.ca.gov.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA