The Pros and Cons of the Updated Law for Legalized Marijuana

Chloe Stearns, Health and Lifestyle Editor

A lot of people have high hopes about California’s legalization of marijuana. California was the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana. Although the law does not officially take effect until January of 2018, it’s written terms contain some pros and cons for Californians.

A big factor in legalizing marijuana is a criminal justice reform. Many minorities are convicted of long prison sentences for having pot without a medical card. These people tend to get longer sentences than rapists.

The new marijuana law helps those people and get them out of jail. People under 18 who are convicted will not go to jail, but instead have to go to drug counseling and community service that will be erased when they become of age.

Chloe Fitz, a sophomore at Woodside High told Woodside World about her opinions on the new law. “I think it’s good to have it legalized so that it can be more accepted and it shows how far we’ve come as a country.”

The new law allows for people to use, process, share, and grow marijuana. Despite these simple rules, they come with many strings attached. One can not legally buy a marijuana plant and the only way to obtain one is to have a friend give you one.

Along with that, according to the law, Californians still can’t grow the plant inside your home. This is to protect the home from burglary because of the item being valuable. You have to grow the plant outside in a greenhouse which could become difficult for people living in denser areas. People can also only have up to six plants in their possession.

Fitz disagrees with the growing of marijuana saying, “I don’t think it’s safe to have the plant anywhere near your home, but I do believe that there should be shops where someone can go without having to have a medical card.”
Unfortunately, most towns and cities only have dispensaries and even those are hard to come by. Dispensaries require you to have a medical card and I.D., while future pot shops will allow you to walk in and buy marijuana. The official law does not go into effect until 2018, but more progressive cities like San Francisco and Oakland may have local pot shops sooner than that.