City of Ukiah, California

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Marijuana Changes

Last November, California voters approved Proposition 64 which legalized some of the aspects of the recreational marijuana trade. I thought I should write about these changes: what is now legal, what’s still illegal, and some of the employment and renting rights you should know.

Before I discuss these new changes, remember that the requirements for the use of medically prescribed marijuana have not changed, and those who have been prescribed marijuana must remain in compliance with already established rules.

So, what did Proposition 64 legalize?

  • It is now legal for an adult (21 years or older) to possess, transport or give another adult no more than one ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.

  • An adult can now grow up to 6 plants at his or her residence and keep the marijuana produced by those plants. (It’s important to note that here in Ukiah, it is still illegal to cultivate plants outdoors.)

  • Retail sales of recreational marijuana to adults will not begin until licensed stores are in operation, sometime after January 1, 2018.

Second, what did Proposition 64 say was still illegal?

  • It is illegal to consume marijuana in a public place, and violation is considered an infraction with a $100 dollar fine. (In the future, licensed establishments will be permitted to allow on-site consumption.)

  • It is illegal to smoke or vaporize marijuana within any non-smoking area, or within 1,000 feet of a school, day care or youth center while children are present—except at a private residence—and a violation is an infraction with a $250 dollar fine.

  • It is illegal to consume marijuana or possess an “open container” while driving or as a passenger within a motor vehicle, boat, or airplane. A violation is an infraction with a $250 dollar fine.

  • It is illegal to manufacture concentrated cannabis with volatile solvents, except state licensed manufacturers.

  • It is illegal for anyone under 21 to use, possess, transport, or cultivate marijuana, and a violation is subject to a $100 dollar fine; or drug counseling and community service for those under 18.

  • It is illegal to possess more than one ounce of marijuana and a violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to a $500 dollar fine.

Rights not protected as a result of Proposition 64.

  • If you’re a renter, landlords can still forbid the possession or use of marijuana on their property, and employers can prohibit marijuana use by their employees.

What’s next?

For medical marijuana? More than a year ago, the Governor signed three bills into law to help standardize and create a licensing and medical regulatory framework. This new licensing board, called the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, plans to have new medical marijuana regulations developed by January 1, 2018.

And for the legalized sale of recreational marijuana and use by an adult? In accordance with Prop. 64, the state will begin working with taxing authorities, law enforcement, and local governments to develop a new system that allows people to buy and sell recreational marijuana. This new system will not be in place before January 1, 2018, and could take longer; so for the time being, the laws already in place are our guide in the use of and enforcement of marijuana.

Remember that an adult can only possess, transport, or give, up to an ounce of marijuana, and marijuana can only be used in limited places. But stay tuned, I’m sure the next year will see additional changes to these new laws.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t say, PLEASE be careful with the use of marijuana. It is still against the law to use marijuana (or any drug) and then drive. Driving while intoxicated endangers everyone, so please drive sober–impaired driving is not worth the risk.

If you’re interested in learning more about this, the California NORML website (www.canorml.org) has a summary of the Prop. 64 changes.

As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have any suggestions or comments about how we can improve, please feel free to call me, complete our online survey, or leave a crime tip on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com. 


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Safety · Professionalism · Community Service