LOS ANGELES ( — With the passage of Proposition 64 Tuesday night, California has joined a growing cohort of states that allow for the recreational use of marijuana.

The recreational use of cannabis is now legal along the entire West Coast, and California’s vote gave legalization advocates powerful momentum as they move their cause into other states.

The measure imposes a 15-percent sales tax on retail sales of marijuana, as well as a cultivation tax of $9.25 per ounce of marijuana flowers and $2.75 per ounce of marijuana leaves.

But what does the new law mean for Californians? And when do the changes take effect?

Changes Effective Immediately:

  • As of Nov. 9, California residents 21 and older are allowed to possess as much as an ounce of marijuana or eight grams of concentrated cannabis, according to the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
  • California residents may also grow as many as six plants per residence and possess the marijuana produced by those plants. (Any harvest over an ounce must be kept in a secure location out of the public eye, however). Also, municipalities may forbid outdoor growing.

Still Prohibited:

  • The consumption of marijuana while driving or riding as a passenger in a car, boat of plane.
  • Smoking marijuana in public places, including the grounds of a school.
  • Smoking marijuana in “non-smoking” areas.
  • Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana. (Punishable by a fine or as many as six months in jail).



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