California voters approved Proposition 64 on November 8, 2016. The ballot made recreational marijuana use for adults legal throughout the State of California. However, this does not mean that you can smoke weed anywhere you like, as legalization comes with many restrictions and still-to-be-implemented laws and regulations. These rules certainly affect where and how you can use weed legally.
Smoking Recreational Marijuana in Santa Barbara
You have the right to smoke marijuana in Santa Barbara, just not in public areas. California law defines public places as “any property open to the public or any legal business.” It is also important to note that you cannot use cannabis in places that previously banned tobacco products. These areas include public spaces such as restaurants and schools. You also may not smoke weed when driving a car.
Firstly, the law only permits those older than 21-years to smoke marijuana. This is the legal age of adulthood, and only adults may buy, possess or transport recreational weed, and even then, no more than an ounce at a time. Furthermore, nobody may sell cannabis anywhere near establishments that sell tobacco or alcohol, and consumers can only buy it legally at licensed dispensaries.
It is also illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis, much the same way as you cannot drive drunk. If caught, you may face misdemeanor charges, and possibly, felony prosecution, as well. Admittedly, proving someone stoned is more challenging than doing a breathalyzer for alcohol consumption, but officers are in training to identify high drivers and companies are creating more accurate testing devices.
Law enforcement agencies have known for a long time that the state would eventually legalize weed recreationally and they are preparing for it. Officers must attend training courses, and law enforcement agencies are consulting with prosecutors and other lawmaking entities to devise effective protocols on how to identify and handle those caught driving under the influence of cannabis.
Where Can I Smoke Marijuana in Santa Barbara?
Despite the fact that prosecuting non-abiding weed offenders will take time and cost money, lawmakers unanimously agree that the industry requires tight control and regulations. Although it is now legal to smoke marijuana in California, it is important to abide by these rules or face legal consequences. Before lighting up in Santa Barbara, you must know where you may or may not smoke:
General Weed Smoking Laws
If you cannot smoke cigarettes there, then you definitely cannot light up a joint there. That is the general rule of thumb about smoking marijuana publically, and it is a good one to follow. Do not smoke while driving, and stay as far away as possible from weed-hostile places, such as daycare centers, schools, liquor stores, tobacco shops, and federal property, such as forests and parks.
Weed-Friendly Public Places
There are public areas where cannabis consumers can smoke freely. However, they are keeping a low profit and are not easy to find yet. Currently, you cannot smoke marijuana anywhere in Santa Barbara, unless there is a local ordinance permitting it. They do exist as cannabis-licensed lodges, guesthouses, coffee shops, and pot spas, but there will be a $100 fine if caught lighting up in the wrong one.
Establishments will soon have the authority to become cannabis-friendly and allow visitors to smoke on their properties. In particular, the tourism industry is profiting from the city’s recently relaxed laws. A new operation, called Buds and Breakfasts, is catering to domestic and foreign travel markets. Still, until these establishments get legal clearance, you are unlikely even to know about them.
Smoking in Private Areas
Your private home remains the safest place to smoke marijuana in Santa Barbara. In fact, you can light up in anybody’s residence, provided he or she allows it. Drug Policy Alliance’s manager of marijuana law and policy, Amanda Reiman, told Time Magazine that Californians would soon be able to hold private events where guests can smoke cannabis, pending local laws.
Buy Marijuana Online in Santa Barbara
Until state officials complete their analysis and implementation of regulatory laws for recreational marijuana and start issuing licenses for outlets, it remains wisest to use it discreetly and out of public view. Cannabis sales for adult use are set to begin on January 1, 2018, which will prompt more people to allow smoking marijuana publically in their establishments.
For now, discretion is key. You can buy legal marijuana online and have it delivered within 45 minutes to your doorstep, without having to go anywhere public at all. Online weed shops are now the preferred method of acquiring medical marijuana, as they guarantee safety, quality, and risk-free delivery. There is no need for you to break the law and risk even carrying weed anywhere in public.