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marijuana laws

Marijuana Laws in California

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California has a long history of legalized medical marijuana—over 20 years—and recently they signed into law over 900 bills that will allow recreational marijuana in most of the state. Here is some useful information regarding the new marijuana laws in California so you can be informed of what is and isn’t legal.

Buying Marijuana Legally in California

California will become the 6th state to allow the sale of recreational marijuana to those who are 21 years and older. You will no longer need a medical marijuana card to purchase marijuana.

Can You Smoke in Public?

People cannot smoke marijuana in public areas, even where it’s legal to smoke cigarettes. Basically, you can’t smoke in the streets, bars, etc., or you will face up to a $200 fine. However, you can smoke cannabis in your home or on your private property. Cannabis lounges have been discussed and may be coming to a few select cities in California.

Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

Medical dispensaries will not be making the switch until they are licensed to sell recreational marijuana. Licensing is done through the individual cities and most are blocking recreational marijuana licensing right now. That is constantly changing, however, because of the nature of the legalization of cannabis. More and more medical dispensaries are getting their recreational licenses, so you will be able to start going to these dispensaries as long as they have a license to sell recreational.

Walking Into a Dispensary

Dispensaries are very similar to walking into a cafe or even an Apple store. The products are displayed artfully in cases and there are “budtenders” to help you pick a certain strain. It is best to educate yourself on the different strains available.


It’s important to treat marijuana laws just as you would alcohol laws. You cannot be under the influence of marijuana while driving. Also, you must keep the package sealed while driving. The best approach is to put your product in the trunk so you don’t get in trouble for something that is 100% avoidable.

Jobs Still Do Test for Marijuana

Remember, a company can still drug test their employees. There is anecdotal evidence that employers are not conducting random drug tests as often, but it is at the discretion of the company. Stay on the safe side of the line and don’t put your employment at risk. Since marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, federal employees are routinely drug tested and you can lose your job if you test positive, and military personnel can get in big trouble for testing positive for marijuana.

Be smart when it comes to the new laws in California pertaining to cannabis. Many people have taken it as an excuse to do some reckless things, but remember you can still get into a lot of trouble if you aren’t knowledgeable about the do’s and don’ts of smoking marijuana. In any case, if you find yourself in trouble over marijuana use or possession, contact the law offices of Bradly Corbett today.

Bradley Corbett

Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.

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