Law 101

Marijuana Legalization in California

Both recreational and medicinal marijuana (cannabis) use are now legal in California. Californians legalized medicinal marijuana in 1996. In 2016, Prop. 64 legalized use, production, and sales of recreational marijuana. Sales and production of recreational marijuana will begin in 2018, but businesses must first obtain both local and state permits. Many cities and counties continue to ban marijuana-related businesses. Personal use and cultivation of small amounts is legal throughout the state.

All marijuana use, possession and distribution remains illegal under federal law21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq. In January 2018 the Trump administration reversed the Obama Department of Justice’s hands-off policy. Individual U.S. attorneys are free to pursue marijuana violations as they see fit. This change means the future of the marijuana industry in California is uncertain.

Legal Guides

California Legal Manual: Americans for Safe Access
The Margolin Guide: Marijuana Laws 

Common Questions

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The Law Librarians created these pamphlets in response to frequently asked questions on subjects not appropriate for more detailed guides.

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