On Monday, California ushered in the new year with a new law that allows its citizens to purchase weed for recreational use, making it the eighth and largest state in America to do so.
Available to adults 21 and older, cannabis had been legalised for medical use two decades ago, but remained classified by the federal government as as a controlled substance, like heroin and LSD.
Despite it being legalised for recreational use, cannabis remains classified as a controlled substance, despite the plethora of research supporting it being safer than alcohol or tobacco, both of which are legal and widely consumed across the country.
Finding a retail outlet to buy non-medical pot in California won’t be easy in the beginning. Around 90 businesses alone acquired state licenses to open on New Year’s Day. They are concentrated in San Diego, Santa Cruz, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Palm Springs area (you’re welcome).
29 states in America have legalised weed for medical use, and more are expected to follow suit in the coming years. However, some have raised the point that, despite the growing legalisation across the country, people incarcerated in prison for using or selling marijuana in the past will remain in horrific and brutal conditions behind bars for something that society is slowly recognising as a mostly harmless, and occasionally beneficial, recreation.
While law isn’t normally retroactive, that raises a serious issue with the law itself.