Leaves of a mature marijuana plant are seenin a display at The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo April 18, 2010 at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California. (Photo : Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)
Home to over 36 million people and a global destination for tourists around the world, California has legalized recreational marijuana use a day after the recently concluded elections in the United States. California voters approved the marijuana legalization with a vote margin of 56 percent to 44 percent, making it the fifth state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana use, 20 years after it legalized medical marijuana.
Washington was the very first state to legalize recreational marijuana use in Dec. 6, 2012. It was followed suit by Colorado six days after. Alaska, the third state to legalize Cannabis did so in Feb. 14, 2014. Oregon did the same thing a few months later on July 1 of the same year.
Two other states, Arizona and Maine, who voted on the same day as California last Nov. 9, ended up voting against recreational marijuana use, The New York Times reported. The legalization of recreational marijuana is no longer surprising to many Americans, but in general, it is still considered intolerable to the majority of states in the U.S. The implications of the recreational use of marijuana is that it can now be consumed like a bottle of wine in California.
"First the bad news," Amanda Reiman, Drug Policy Alliance manager said in an interview with Time. "There aren't any adult-use pot shops yet, and you can't just walk into a medical dispensary without a patient card and start buying up brownies."
According to Reiman, adults 21 and above can now possess, use and even share cannabis. Moreover, California dwellers can now grow them at home. When asked where people should buy marijuana for recreational use, she said, "You cannot legally buy a marijuana plant, but someone can give you one. There could be a whole sharing economy that emerges," Reiman said.
She made it clear, however, that there shouldn't be any money involved in the exchange of cannabis plants. For instance, someone who is already growing a cannabis plant can only share the bud with a friend, but not sell it.
Reiman also emphasized that the growing of Cannabis plants must be done in a "fully enclosed and secure" way to avoid attracting robbers. As for being able to buy it from a store, California will start issuing licenses to "pot shops" beginning Jan. 1, 2018.
Here is a news clip on the recent legalization of recreational marijuana use in California: