Recreational cannabis now legal in California
Today's the big day: Recreational cannabis is now legal in the state of California. It was way back in 1996 that the Golden State approved marijuana for medicinal reasons, but after Colorado and Washington went recreational in 2012, California cannabis users have been itching to get the drug legal here as well. And now, it's finally happened: You can legally smoke, grow, and sell weed in California.
As we've mentioned, however, while this is a great move for the state (and also happens to create the largest legal recreational market in the world so far), things aren't perfect. For one thing, marijuana is still illegal at a federal level, and while several people in Congress and elsewhere are working to change that, California's rules are still only local. And for many in the state, getting recreational cannabis isn't as easy as walking into a local shop and grabbing it.
For some, it is. In Berkeley, and San Diego, there are already some shops open and selling, usually medicinal places that are now selling recreationally as well. Leafly has some good live coverage of an opening in Berkeley, where the ribbon was cut and the first customers through the door were activists who've been waiting for this day for a while. Leafly also has a good list of cities with stores open now, so if you're in CA (and want to brave any lines that happen to be out there on this cold January day), then there you go.
Once you get to the store, though, you'll find that there's no pick your own buds out of a jar any more. Everything sold has to be prepackaged, and there are strict limits on how much can be sold at a time, and what doses are available. Additionally, the extra costs of packaging might raise prices for some stores, so what you get at a recreational store might actually be more expensive than the black market, or even as a medicinal patient.
All of that said, however, this is definitely a day for the history books. After all of these years, recreational cannabis is now legal in California. We're sure we'll be following the consequences (mostly positive, surely) from this decision for a long time to come.