As marijuana legislation is slowly moving in the right direction, California medical marijuana card holders are now enjoying a much more tolerant, understanding and welcoming society. Marijuana usage is no longer confined to the home and MMJ is finally being recognized for its numerous health benefits. However, as marijuana laws become more relaxed, 420 card carriers are getting more and more confused as to where exactly they can consume medical cannabis. Although laws like Proposition 64 have been passed, public and police responses to marijuana consumption remains mixed and you should be careful about how and where you choose to consume.
Your home is obviously the best place to consume your MMJ. Not only will you be comfortable, but you’ll also be able to consume your medical marijuana any way you want to so smoke, vape, eat or even drink as much as you need. If baking edibles at home, never forget to keep them out of the reach of little fingers’ or else an unplanned trip to the ER could be on the cards. If you choose to smoke in your garden, always be mindful of your neighbors. Not only is this good neighborly practice but a cranky old coot of a neighbor could get angry and call the cops. Needless to say, a visit from the police will ruin your relaxing afternoon.
Although home is a comfortable and safe place for consumption, for some California medical marijuana card holders it is simply not practical to confine usage to within their four walls. Consuming in public is permitted but complicated due to the USA’s unique legal position regarding MMJ. Even though it is fully legal in some states, federal law dictates that all use of cannabis, medical or otherwise, is still illegal. This paradox goes largely unimplemented, but if you come across the wrong cop, on the wrong day, s/he can still charge you with possession, whether you have an online medical marijuana recommendation or not. It is prudent to be discreet when consuming cannabis in public, so you’re best to opt for vaping, edibles or tinctures instead of lighting up.
Smoking MMJ certainly has its benefits, but it also has several non-health related drawbacks that can limit where you can and can’t blaze up. California law states that marijuana cannot be smoked where smoking is prohibited by law, at or within 1000 feet of a school, recreation centre, or youth centre, unless the medical use occurs within a residence, on a school bus, or in a moving motor vehicle or boat. It is also extremely important to remember that driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal. This can be defined as driving whereby your mental abilities are impaired by marijuana to the extent that you are unable to drive with appropriate caution. Unlike alcohol, there is no clear cut test to define what the legal limit of marijuana usage while driving is and because of this, it is best to avoid consuming when you’re driving and if you absolutely have to, you should keep it to a minimum.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of workplaces in California disallow the consumption of cannabis on work property or during work hours, regardless of whether you have an online California medical marijuana card. The Compassionate Use Act doesn’t prohibit employers from disciplining or even terminating employees solely based on their MMJ usage. Only four states – New York, Arizona, Minnesota and Delaware – have brought in laws that protect employees who possess a medical marijuana license and fail workplace drug tests. In these cases, the onus is on the employer to not only show that the employee was under the influence of marijuana while on the job but also that it impaired their level of work. Until the whole country is as forward thinking as the above states or unless you’ve got a particularly understanding boss, it’s best to keep your marijuana consumption out of the office.
Although taking your MMJ to Yellowstone for a few hours of relaxation may seem like the perfect Sunday, federal parkland is under the remit of federal law and as a result it is strictly forbidden to consume cannabis on its grounds. National park rangers are well known for issuing fines to anyone possessing the drug inside federal parks. Those who can produce a California medical marijuana card are subject to more lenient fines, but are not immune to penalties. Cards need to be renewed each year to remain valid, so you should get your cannabis card online, well in advance of your renewal date to avoid the hassle of paying extortionate fines should you run into an overzealous federal park ranger.
Federal law makes things especially confusing for California medical marijuana card holders when it comes to traveling. Although some airports like San Francisco and Oakland are MMJ friendly, others are not so much. If you’re unsure of your airport’s stance, it is best to call ahead and ask them directly so as to avoid any embarrassing altercations with security when you get there. It is also worth noting that whether or not you can bring your MMJ onto a plane is totally at the discretion of the Transport Security Authority (TSA). As the TSA is a federal body, they are unlikely to view MMJ any differently from marijuana for recreational purposes and you will likely have it confiscated at security.
Until legislators fully legalize cannabis at a federal level, there is still going to be a grey area about where you can and cannot consume MMJ. If you’re out in public and still unsure of whether you can light up, be smart and opt to vape or have an edible instead. Your relaxation should be of paramount importance, so exercise caution and always be carrying your California medical marijuana card in order to not land yourself in any hot water.