The Tripper’s Guide to California

They say the grass is always greener on the other side. In this case, the greener side is  California. It is a place that has many beautiful locations to show off. It also a state known for having legalised cannabis under the Adult Usage of Marijuana Act.

Mary Jane (wink wink) is so much in demand that acquiring it legally has become something of a tourist activity in itself.

While cannabis can be legally acquired here, it is not an unrestricted, anything goes freedom. The freedom comes with a few laws that are reasonable and manageable. For cannabis recreationists and those who use it as medication, the legalisation of 2016 is a very welcome decision.

Now that you’re planning a trip to California for various reasons, you’ll need to make a plan.

Here are 3 things that you must include in your travel plan:

  1. Visit the touristy spots like the Golden Gate bridge, Yosemite National Park, Disneyland, Death Valley National Park, Big Sur, Garrapata State Park, Lake Tahoe, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Parks, Redwood National and State Parks, Joshua Tree National Park, Universal Studios Hollywood, Hearst Castle, Santa Catalina Island and the Channel Islands National Park.
  2. Enjoy the aroma of legal weed. It’s a special strain you can find only in California.
  3. Do not get hauled off because you were unaware of the rules governing marijuana usage and cultivation.

A fun trip can be ruined by a fine or a prison sentence. To help you  avoid such a destiny, here are a few pointers for tourists about marijuana laws or call a criminal lawyer to rescue you from distress.

  1. AUMA is the Adult Usage of Marijuana Act that was passed in 2016. This act allows adults aged 21 and above to possess, privately use, and give away up to one ounce of cannabis, and to cultivate no more than six plants for personal use at their residence.
  2. The production, distribution and subsequent sale of cannabis has also been legalized under the AUMA as long as it is carried out at licensed locations.
  3. Local city and county governments are not under obligation to allow cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction. They can ban it on private premises.
  4. Medical cannabis remains legal for use by patients of all ages who have a physician’s recommendation under California’s 1996 medical marijuana law. The amount is not restricted to 1 ounce but is decided according to medical requirement.
  5. Avoid smoking or vaporizing cannabis in any non-smoking area, or within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare or youth centre while children are present, except privately at a residence. ($250 infraction)

Exception: local governments may permit on-site consumption at state- licensed premises for work purposes. An unlicensed individual  doing so in a public place can invite a fine of $100. Flouting the rules for personal use cultivation can cost you $250. So forget the dream of indulging your green thumb unless you do possess a license or are planning to get one.

  • Another $250 will disappear if you think it is a good idea to consume cannabis or possess an open container of cannabis while driving or riding as a passenger in any motor vehicle, boat, or airplane.
  • It might also seem a good idea to combine  concentrated cannabis with a volatile solvent but it is not. Volatile solvents include explosive chemicals like butane but not ethyl alcohol. Veto any idea that includes volatile solvents.
  • Landlords and other private parties retain the right to prohibit or restrict the use of cannabis on their privately owned property.
  • Government agencies can prohibit or restrict use of cannabis within a building they own or occupy.

Now that you have been warned, here is how you can obtain cannabis legally:

  1. Adults aged 21 and older can buy cannabis at retail dispensaries with an “A” adult use license.
  2. Medical users need an ‘M’ license and a doctor’s prescription.

Keep all these rules in mind to avoid the backlash of breaking the laws unless you want to lose more of yourself than you initially planned and a free holiday package in prison!

  1. Juvenile offenders under 18 are exempt from criminal fines and imprisonment and are compelled to perform community service, attend drug counseling or drug education depending on circumstances.
  2. Adult offenders aged 18 and above are fined or imprisoned according to the extent of the crime. The maximum fine amounts to $500 and/or six months in jail.
  3. Repeat offenses especially with a history of violent acts result in felon enhancements. This also includes involving a minor or other people in the crime.

Driving while under the influence of cannabis can become a DUI offence if impairment is observed. DUI is quite the serious charge due to the potential damage possibilities and under certain circumstances could get you in real legal trouble, in which case you’d need a DUI Lawyer. While refusing a blood or urine test might get your license suspended, those tests are weak proof of temporarily impaired senses as marijuana remains in your system for a longer period of time than alcohol. The police can also take oral swabs which can detect traces from two hours of usage to more than a day. According to current law, the police cannot compel you to take an oral swab test.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT carry cannabis in the airport because AUMA does not apply to federal property like the airport. It does not matter of marijuana is being taken out of the state or brought into the state. If you are caught carrying it in the airport, you cannabis apprehended by the law.

In short, don’t have more than one ounce of cannabis on your person. You may give away one ounce and not more. If you have a bigger quantity it must be safely locked up and not displayed to the public. If you plan to cultivate and harvest cannabis, do not have more than six live plants.

To further shorten the essence of this article, one ounce or you’ll bounce! Have a Happy Trip!

Author Bio – Sharon is practicing lawyer in California, specializes in all legal matters related to business, commercial and contract laws. She has been a practicing attorney over 7 years and has a diverse and broad range of experience.



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