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Recreational Marijuana Legalized in California: Can You Buy Weed Now?

JOHNSTOWN, NY - AUGUST 19: Cannabis plants grow in the greenhouse at Vireo Health's medical marijuana cultivation facility, August 19, 2016 in Johnstown, New York. New York state lawmakers voted to legalize marijuana for medical use in 2014 and the law took effect in January 2016. Currently, five organizations are allowed to grow and sell the drug for medical use in the state. New York's new law only allows people with 'severe debilitating or life threatening conditions' to obtain marijuana for medical use. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Where can you buy weed in California now that marijuana is legalized? (Getty)

Recreational marijuana has been legalized in California. But just because the very popular measure has been passed doesn’t mean you can just go out and buy weed right away.

Here’s what you need to know.

Marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in California, even though it’s still illegal federally. States that legalize marijuana tend to be very careful about the next steps they take after a bill is passed for this reason. You won’t be able to just go out and buy weed immediately, even if possessing up to an ounce is now legal.

California still has to institute rules and regulations related to the new law before marijuana can be legally bought and sold for recreational purposes. In Alaska, for example, marijuana was legalized in November 2014, but the law didn’t go into effect until February 2015. Charlo Greene, the reporter from Alaska who quit her job on-air so she could lobby for marijuana, allowed people to purchase memberships to her marijuana club and she supplied them with marijuana donations. The problem was that Alaska hadn’t yet finalized its regulations regarding retail operations for marijuana. So now she faces up to 24 years or more in jail, The Guardian reported.

Typically, a state must approve licenses for retail businesses who want to sell marijuana before they can begin selling the newly legalized drug. These details could take months to finalize, or even longer. Until then, residents will have to wait before they can buy or sell marijuana for recreational purposes in California. Thus, before taking any steps involving buying or selling recreational weed in California, you might want to consult an attorney. According to SF Weekly you will, however, be able to smoke and possess up to an an ounce of marijuana. But remember, the law has many nuances to it, such as not being able to smoke in public, so be sure you understand all the facets of Proposition 64.

National polls show that a majority of Americans support marijuana legalization, the Chicago Tribune reported. Most recently support was at 60 percent nationwide.

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