Well, it’s finally happened. After 20 years of legal medical marijuana, California finally legalized recreational marijuana. The most populated state in the union said yes to cannabis. It’s a little surprising it took this long, but here we are.

“This is the most important moment in the history of the marijuana legalization movement,” Tom Angell, founder of Marijuana Majority, told The 420 Times. He pointed out that California has the sixth-largest economy in the world and has always influenced the nation’s culture.

“Most importantly, this vote will dramatically accelerate the end of federal marijuana prohibition, ” he said. “California alone has just added 53 more U.S. House members to the list of federal lawmakers who represent places where marijuana is legal. Last year we came only nine votes shy of winning an amendment to stop federal interference with state marijuana laws. Do the math.”

So what does this all mean? Can I legally go smoke weed in the middle of a parking lot now? Can I buy it at Target tomorrow? Can I open my own pot store yet? We have the answers.

When can I start legally smoking weed?

Right now! Since the law has been passed, smoking weed is now legal. However, there are restrictions. You have to be over 21, and you can’t smoke it in public. Think of it like alcohol. There are not private businesses letting people smoke weed recreationally in them yet, but that will come some day.

When can I go buy weed at a store?

If you have a medical marijuana card, you can obviously go buy weed at a store right now. However, if you do not, you will not be able to buy it at a store until the regulatory framework is set up and businesses that will sell recreational marijuana are allowed to sell it. That’s estimated to happen by January 2018.

Who will sell it?

Probably not Target. It can’t be sold where liquor and tobacco are sold.

When can I open my store?

Again, until the state has figured everything out, you can’t open a store. It’s gonna be another year or so.

What happens to my criminal record, which has marijuana offenses on it?

You may be able to get your record removed, and anyone you know who’s currently in prison for marijuana charges may be able to be released.

Can I start growing cannabis?

Yes! You can grow up to six plants, just not outside if your town bans it.

“All plants and harvest in excess of one ounce must be kept in a locked space not in public view at one’s residence,” California NORML said in a statement. “Local governments may still forbid cultivation outdoors, but must allow it inside a private residence or accessory structure that is ‘fully enclosed and secure.'”

Can I drive stoned?

No, you cannot. Luckily, we were not stupid enough to pass a law that sets a legal limit for how much THC can be in your blood while driving, because that’s a scientifically unsound way to determine intoxication. However, if the cop can tell you’re really high, you can get a DUI.

[Photo by Kevin Zollman/Wikimedia]

About The Author

Thor Benson is a traveling writer currently based in Los Angeles. His writing has been featured in Vice, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast and elsewhere. He can be found in a run-down whiskey bar. Follow him on Twitter at: @thor_benson.

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