Pot legalization: what it means for San Clementians - Sovereign Health Group
Articles / Blog
01-13-17 Category: Advocacy, Substance Abuse

Now that Prop 64 ­– the measure to legalize recreational marijuana – has passed and legal possession and use for those older than 21 has gone into effect, what does that mean for local San Clemente business and homeowners? What can parents and community members expect in 2017?

The law on dispensaries

While Proposition 64 allows individuals to legally use and grow marijuana for personal use, the dispensary sale of recreational marijuana does not become legal until January 1, 2018.

Local dispensaries will see more window shoppers. Although dispensaries cannot sell to recreation patrons until 2018, that hasn’t stopped California cannabis enthusiasts from hovering in hopes to get crumbs from the table, nor some dispensary employees from selling to patients with nothing to show but a driver’s license.

As reported in the OC Register, “dozens of pot shops throughout California advertising that, since voters legalized recreational marijuana under Proposition 64 two months ago, they’ll now sell cannabis without the doctor’s recommendations that have been required under the state’s medical marijuana law for 20 years.

“Many of these shops are billing themselves as being ‘compliant’ or ‘friendly’ with Prop. 64,” even though businesses will not be given the green light “until the state establishes a licensing system,” the article explains.

But Aaron Peterson, co-founder of delivery dispensary Dank City Collective, says that because there are no storefront medical marijuana shops south of Santa Ana, this is less of an issue for businesses like his. Nevertheless the call lines since Nov. 9 are consistently laden with recreational hash hopefuls.

“People try, but they’re not allowed until 2018. We get a lot of calls inquiring, but we’re not a storefront.”

Are recreational dispensaries coming to town?

Peterson says that for medicinal users and now prospective recreational buyers, “on-the-table” demand could cause Southern Californian municipalities to bring marijuana storefronts to a vote. “We don’t even know if they’re going to open it up or allow shops in this area even though there is huge demand and it could bring revenue in to San Clemente, it still hasn’t been approved.

“Everybody wishes they could have [dispensary storefronts] here, in Dana Point or Laguna, but if the cities are against it, which I don’t understand why they would be for tax revenue, there’s nothing that we can do but continue delivery.” For the buyers’ experience, he says delivery-only sales for marijuana dispensaries is as counterintuitive as “buying lemonade where there is no stand.”  Should the city open licensure application up, Dank City Collective says it will be among the applicants.

Limitations on possession and use

The new legislation allows for adults to have one ounce in their possession and up to six plants grown per household. Marijuana cannot be smoked in public places unless city ordinances specify. For residences close to schools, cannabis partaking is barred within 1,000 feet; a little less than the length of a football field.

Another cannabis delivery company representative, who asked not to be named, recommends following existing “open container” laws and keeping cannabis purchases in closed packaging in the trunk. He says people who think they can freely smoke weed while driving or in the passenger seat are mistaken.

Fines will be given to violators of new possession laws.

Underage enthusiasts could try and take advantage.

In previous decades it was the imagery of teens standing doe-eyed and tight-lipped near liquor stores trying to get a sympathetic adult to buy them alcohol. Now with the new laws allowing personal marijuana possession, there very well could be known residential growers – or parents who partake – who could be targeted by teens wanting to get in on the action.

There are parents presently facing custody issues over legal marijuana use and should be vigilant of their supply and cognizant of repercussions and implications of recreational use and what that will mean to their children.

Family Law & Cannabis Alliance outreach associate Rachel Beth Wissner of Massachusetts gives caution:

“[Parents] can act completely legally under the law – even be more careful, diligent and safe than the laws require – and they can still find themselves at the mercy of child protection services and the courts solely for marijuana.”

Sovereign Health, here in San Clemente and throughout Southern California, stands as a community pillar for balanced information regarding mental wellness, sobriety and substance abuse. No matter what the state or federal law, marijuana use can lead to addiction as well as exacerbate mental disorders. Call our 24/7 helpline for details on how we tailor-fit recovery.

About the author

Kristin Currin-Sheehan is a Sovereign Health writer and her intriguing storytelling has been featured with Sovereign Health, KPBS TV/FM, FOX5 News in San Diego and NPR. Her illustrative and relatable approach to digital and broadcast news bridges businesses and consumers, news and community. For more information and other inquiries about this media, contact the author at news@sovhealth.com.

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