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How Old Do You Have to Be to Smoke Weed in California?

If you live in California or you'll be visiting there soon, you may be wondering how old you have to be to smoke weed in the Golden State. In November of 2016, California residents voted to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults, so as of this writing, anyone in the state (resident and visitor alike) who is at least 21 years old smoke cannabis at his or her leisure. However, the state is still crafting legislation to regulate the sale of recreational marijuana, so you can't buy it from a licensed dispensary yet, like you can in Colorado.

Even though the passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) allows any adult at least 21 years of age to smoke weed (and consume cannabis in other ways) within the state's borders, it's still illegal for those in the 18-21 age group to toke up recreationally. These adults must still register with the state as medical marijuana patients, but they can have as can have as much of the herb as they want to at home.

Also, just because you're 21 years old doesn't mean you can smoke weed anywhere you want. The state of California restricts where you can consume marijuana, and a good rule of thumb to follow is that if you can't smoke a cigarette in an area or establishment, you can't smoke weed there either. Until the state makes clear when and where it's acceptable for adults to smoke weed in public, the privacy of one's home or a cannabis-friendly establishment, like “weed-friendly” hotels and members-only clubs, are the best places to consume the herb.

Remember that if you're at least 21 years old and smoking weed in California that you can't transport the herb across state lines in any way, as that would break federal law. You can, however, fly with cannabis in your possession to several (though not all at this time) California airports within the boundaries of the state.

In ending, residents and visitors can check the California Cannabis Portal to learn more about the state's rules about smoking weed and consuming marijuana in other ways.


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