MARIJUANA STATE-BY-STATE OVERVIEW: California.
Is medicinal cannabis legal? Yes
Is recreational marijuana legal? No
In California, Prop 215 says that seriously ill Californians can use marijuana for medicinal purposes. The section is known and cited as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. The conditions that a patient my apply to use cannabis to treat include anorexia, AIDS/HIV, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, migraine and any other illness that a qualified physician recommends that marijuana is a suitable treatment for.
The Compassionate Use Act means that any person who has been prescribed marijuana for the treatment of a condition by a qualified medical practitioner cannot be subject to disciplinary action for having weed on their person. On the same note, physicians cannot be prosecuted for prescribing medical cannabis.
Prop 215 delegated implementation to municipalities rather than creating a regulatory framework.
Since January 2011, anyone found with an ounce or less of cannabis on them is not going to get in a whole lot of trouble in California—they will receive a fine but no criminal record. Possession of larger amounts can lead to jail time and much larger fines. This can also lead to possession with intent to sell allegations and hefty consequences.
A planned November 2016 voter initiative to legalize and regulate cannabis in the same way that alcohol is in California is on the cards for next year. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, a poll in 2013 revealed that over 50 percent of Californian voters would act in favor of cannabis legalization.
For a quick list of the states in which cannabis is legal for recreational and/ or medical use, check out our rundown. If you are planning a cannabis tour or a marijuana vacation, it is important that you know where to go!