Smoking marijuana recreationally is now legal in California. However, before you take your stash with you as you head out the door, take caution. Changes to marijuana legislature is happening on a state level, not a federal level. When it comes to which laws carry more weight, federal trumps state.
California voters passed Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, to begin the process of governing the drug on Nov. 9, 2016. The legal sale and taxation of recreational weed took effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
Smokers who believe they can just light up wherever they please should slow down and consider legal limitations.
Smoking At School
Public colleges are state-funded and federally funded. This means you’ll get into trouble if you bring your legal weed with you to school grounds, according to USA Today. In fact, most students are receiving frantic e-Memos from their school’s administration ensuring students who come back from winter break that weed is still not allowed on campus. How diligent campus safety is is another story. Try not to be to angry with your college campus as it needs money to function and runs the risk of having federal funding pulled completely. This is especially true if they allow their students to smoke marijuana freely and not abide by federal law.
Smoking at Work
In a nutshell, if you can’t show up to work drunk, you also can’t show up to work high. Whether one is safer than the other is not the question here. Both are considered the same level of being under the influence. Your boss still has every right to fire you if you show up under the influence, even if it is for medicinal purposes. A company can still deny you employment if you decide to fail their mandatory drug test, because you did not want to stop smoking. There is no legislation stating businesses should follow suit with state law and federal jobs will definitely not allow recreational use of marijuana.
Smoking in Public Places or While Driving
This is a similar story to work and school. Medical marijuana cards may have granted some freedom here, but smoking in public or while driving has always been a risk weed smokers take when they travel. Even though weed is open to all to smoke recreationally, not just those with a medical marijuana card, it should be kept at home for recreational use. According to Politifact, taking it on the road under the new law is like having an open bottle in your car. If you can’t drink in public, you shouldn’t be high in public. Both are disturbances of the peace or driving under the influence, violations that warrant a police citation. Just like driving with an open container, you’ll face probably face some trouble if you get pulled over if your weed is not sealed. Legal weed must be in a sealed container. If that container is not sealed, it must be locked away somewhere, such as the trunk of your car. With the legalization of marijuana comes extra attention. Law enforcement will be looking for marijuana violations to a greater extent, especially when it comes to driving under the influence, according to Shouse Law Group and California Vehicle Code.
The law itself will change and adapt as the state and federal law differences sort themselves out over time. Practice smoking discretion before smoking as you please.