Over the past several years, the legalization of cannabis has slowly but surely affected the country in a gradual rate with many states implementing new laws legalizing either the use of medical marijuana or recreational marijuana. California is now the latest state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and hemp, following 7 other states in the country, with the passing of Prop 64 from this year’s elections. Marijuana users of all kinds need to be aware of the new regulations and may have several questions about the proposition.
What has changed now that Prop 64 has passed?
According to Ballotpedia.org, the passing of Prop 64 has now allowed Californian citizens at least 21 years of age to legally smoke marijuana privately. Individuals of the legal age can carry up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and up to 8 grams of concentrated marijuana, known as hash, in their possession. The new law now allows someone to grow up to six marijuana plants in their private household. In addition to these new regulations, people are allowed to give marijuana to others at least 21 years of age and as long as the amount of marijuana exchanged fits previously described guidelines.
What marijuana use is still illegal in the state of California?
However, it is still illegal to smoke marijuana in public places including your car as well as operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. Fines will be distributed for those caught smoking while driving a car, boat or aircraft. The only exception is if it is allowed by a local ordinance. There are also restrictions of possession of marijuana 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school, day care center, youth center or any public space where children are present.
Who is able to purchase marijuana now?
There are still restrictions for the purchasing of cannabis that only allow people with medical marijuana cards and are of age to legally purchase marijuana from clinics & dispensaries. Prop 64 does address this issue, however, this part of the proposition will not come into effect until January 1, 2018. The state of California will have until this date to develop a system of regulations for clinics & dispensaries to apply for licenses that will allow each business to legally sell marijuana for recreational use. The proposition also authorizes re-sentencing and destruction of records for prior marijuana convictions.
What are edibles and what are the regulations for their consumption?
Marijuana edible products are foods that are infused with the active ingredients in cannabis and THC. Consuming edibles has a different effect than smoking marijuana and should be approached slowly and patiently, because they take a longer time until the onset of effects are felt by the consumer.
Now that Prop 64 has passed, edibles in California will have to be made and sold with low-doses of cannabis and THC. Each product will be required to contain no more than 10 milligrams of THC allowing consumers to know exactly how much they are ingesting. Each edible is required to be in childproof packaging that strictly prohibits any design that appeals to children. It has also been predicted that edibles will start being produced in not just sugary products but raw, vegan, gluten-free and super-food varieties as well.
Can marijuana be taken on a plane?
Marijuana will not be able to be taken across state lines in any way. From seed to sale, every state that has legalized recreational marijuana are required to grow and sell their products within the same state in which they are to be consumed due to the federal regulations of the drug throughout the nation.
How will marijuana be advertised to consumers?
The measure also establishes packaging, labeling, advertising, and marketing standards and restrictions for all products of marijuana. There are also measures to prohibit the advertising of marijuana and related products to minors. Commercials will not be allowed to aired on television and ads would not be able to use any symbols, language, music or cartoon characters aimed to appeal to those who are underage.
In addition to the prohibition of marijuana possession around schools, marijuana ads such as billboards would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of day-care centers, grade schools, playgrounds or youth centers. Billboards for marijuana will also not be able to be located along an interstate or state highway that crosses a state’s border. If the federal law were to change in the future, Prop 64 includes a provision that will require television, radio, print and digital marketing to be only displayed on channels/locations where at least 71.6% of the audience is expected to be 21 years of age or older.
How will marijuana be taxed?
The passing of Prop 64 will now impose a state excise tax on all retail sales of marijuana equal to 15 percent of the sales price and state cultivation taxes on marijuana of $9.25 per ounce of cannabis flowers and $2.75 per ounce of cannabis leaves. However, the initiative exempts medical marijuana from taxation since these participants utilize the benefits of marijuana that are necessary to their health and does not fall under “recreational.”
Is marijuana addictive and can it cause cancer or overdoses?
Researchers have found that cannabis has a lower lifetime dependence risk than cigarettes, alcohol and even caffeine. Researchers of the Mayo Clinic have stated, “With a lifetime dependence risk of 9% in marijuana users vs 32% for nicotine, 23% for heroin, 17% for cocaine, and 15% for alcohol, the addiction risk with marijuana is not as high as that for other drugs of abuse.”
Large studies of marijuana users have provided results that show no increase in incidence of lung cancer amongst the long-time smokers. Numerous cell and animal studies have shown that cannabis acts as anti-cancer agents and that lifelong recreational marijuana users have been shown to live considerably healthy lives. Since THC cannot fatally suppress respiratory or heart function like alcohol does, marijuana has not caused any fatal overdoses.
States that have previously legalized recreational marijuana have seen lower rates of opioid overdose and abuse. A study in Health Affairs found that doctors were less likely to prescribe painkillers to patients in states that legalized marijuana which prevented addiction to the opioids. According to a 2014 study by JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers reported opioid overdose deaths fell an average of 25% following the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana in various states.
When will the new regulations go into effect?
Through the last months of 2016, California will fund public education campaigns as well as regulate the rules for the legal cannabis industry. The first rulemaking hearings of the state will be announced in the beginning of 2017. Local cities and counties throughout the state have begun their steps to regulate marijuana and related products.
How can marijuana treat health conditions?
The legalization of recreational marijuana will help assist medical research of cannabis’ positive effects on many health conditions. Our staff at Alterra Med currently treats patients with various conditions that include chronic pain, glaucoma, migraines, nausea and cachexia (cancer). One of the most important areas of research of marijuana has been its benefits in cancer treatment. A study published by the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics reported that the chemicals in marijuana helps stop cancer cells from spreading by turning off the gene called Id-1 that makes cancer cells multiply faster than normal cells.
With restrictions lifting from its recreational use, there will begin to be more room for researchers to develop further studies on marijuana and discover additional benefits. This new proposition can also help people become more aware of already existing practices of medical cannabis therapy such as what our physicians at Alterra Med offer to those suffering from pain conditions.