Marijuana now legal but still very regulated

Dylan Bryant, Reporter

In the midst of an unprecedented election, many lost sight of a historic event that took place that Tuesday night. Californians voted in favor of Proposition 64 by a margin of over 10 points, putting an end to 100 years of cannabis prohibition in the state. The measure establishes legal limits for possession, growing, and taxes and regulates sales.

Any adult over the age of 21 can, as of Nov. 9, grow up to six plants at all times, and keep the amount harvested from those plants in their homes. One can have up to one ounce of dry marijuana, or eight grams of concentrate, while in transit or in public. Consumption of marijuana in public, whether from smoke, vapor, or edibles, is still against the law. One can only consume cannabis on private property with permission from the property owner, and out of public view. On-site consumption in businesses will be allowed at a later date.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is still a crime and, in fact, a large portion of the revenue from taxes on the sale of cannabis will go towards researching methods to determine whether or not a driver is under the influence of cannabis.

Revenue generated from these sales will also go towards researching uses for medical marijuana, which has been legal in the state since 1996. The law also protects the existing medical marijuana infrastructure under proposition 215, but some patients’ advocacy groups opposed the proposition, fearing the industry could become corporatized or monopolized.

While growing, possessing, and using marijuana is now legal for adults, the sale of marijuana is still illegal. Beginning in 2018, a state board will begin granting licenses for cannabis sale to businesses.

The Tehachapi City Council responded to the legalization effort by banning the outdoor cultivation of marijuana within their jurisdiction. While the law allows local jurisdictions to further regulate sale and outdoor cultivation, indoor cultivation and use is protected across the state.

The University of California system made a statement that cannabis possession and use is still prohibited on their campus. At the time this was written, Bakersfield College Officials had not yet commented on whether the campus or the Kern Community College District is considering similar regulations.

A Gallup poll conducted in August found that 13 percent of US adults “currently use” marijuana, and that 43 percent have tried marijuana.