Legal status of marijuana in the state of california

Legal status of marijuana in the state of california
Adam Parsons

Find out about the legal status of medical and recreational marijuana in the state of California. Is marijuana illegal? Better safe than sorry!


Medical marijuana is legal since 1996 for patients with a prescription from a licensed physician in California.

The qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient in California include:

  • AIDS
  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraines
  • persistent muscle spasms (including characteristic of multiple sclerosis)
  • seizures (including characteristic of epilepsy)
  • severe nausea
  • Spasticity


The cultivation and possession of cannabis for recreational purposes have been legalized for persons over 21 in the end of 2016 with Proposition 64.

This new law allows adults to purchase and possess up to 1 oz (28 grams) of cannabis in the privacy of ones home or a licensed establishment.
It is also allowed to grow up to 6 plants and keep the crops these plants produce, as long as it is done in privacy and hidden from the public.

Even though it is allowed to possess up to 28 grams of cannabis and up to 8 grams of concentrates (hashies for example), carrying more than this can still get you into serious trouble.

Getting caught with more than this amount can lead to up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine up to $500.

With the introduction of Proposition 64 most criminal sanctions related to recreational marijuana were lifted. However, the regulations of production, businesses and cannabis consumption establishments will be introduced over time and licenses will not be issued before the beginning of 2018.

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons

As a professional cannabis journalist, author, and copywriter, Adam has been writing about all things psychoactive, CBD, and everything in between for a long time. In an ever-changing market, Adam uses his BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism degree to keep in stride with contemporary research and contributing worthwhile information to all of his projects.