Photo: Robyn Beck Agence France-Presse
Find a shop that sells cannabis is not medicinal in California remains rather complicated for the moment.
Queues of customers have emerged very early, in this January 1, 2018, so that Californians can obtain legally for the first time of cannabis for recreational purposes.
The legalization of the consumption for the fun occurs about two decades after a first legalization of marijuana for medical purposes in this State on the West coast.
The State most populous of the United States adds to an ever-growing list of States, in addition to the national capital, where the consumption of cannabis recreation is permitted, even if the federal government continues to classify the ” pot “in the category of” controlled substances ” like heroin and LSD.
In 2016, the voters of California had voted to legalize the cultivation, possession and consumption of cannabis for recreational for adults 21 years and older, but he was always forbidden to do the trade until Monday.
Still, find a shop that sells cannabis is not medicinal in California remains rather complicated for the moment. Only a few of the 90 shops have obtained a permit from the State in anticipation of the 1st of January.
These shops are located in San Diego, Santa Cruz, in the bay area of San Francisco and the Palm Springs area.
Consumers will have to wait in the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, while local regulation was not adopted in time to allow award of licences to sell.
The authorities of the city of Los Angeles announced in December that no application for permit shall be received prior to 3 January and that it could take a few weeks before the first licenses are granted.
In addition, the cities of Fresno, Bakersfield and Riverside are among the municipalities that have chosen to ban the sale of cannabis to recreational on their territory.
A long awaited
Among the first customers to get in line Monday, there was Jeff Deakin and his wife, who have been waiting the whole night with their dog in front of a shop Harborside, a long-term supplier of medicinal cannabis in Oakland.
The 66-year old man and his wife were the first among a hundred of customers pass through the doors of the trade at 6 am Monday morning. The shop offered seals at one cent and sweaters free of charge with the inscription ” Flower to the People — Cannabis for All “.
“It’s been so long since the last time one was able to enter somewhere where you feel safe and where you can buy a good product without having to hide in the alley. This is something major for all the world, ” said Mr Deakin.
Just after the twelve strokes of midnight, some Californians have lifted their joint rather than a glass of champagne.
California outlawed cannabis in 1913, according to a history recounted by the national Organization for the reform of marijuana laws (known as NORML).
The first attempt to overturn the ban through a popular vote failed in 1972, but three years later, the State has reduced to a mere minor offense possession of less than an ounce of cannabis.
In 1996, despite the opposition of the forces of law and order, of the advisers of president Bill Clinton and three former presidents of the United States, the voters of California have voted for the legalization of medicinal marijuana.
Twenty years later, the voters supported the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes and have granted a year to the State to control the marketing so that it enters into force in 2018.
The Association of directors of police services of California, which opposed the referendum for the legalisation of cannabis, continue to fear the effects on youth, and the presence of impaired drivers.
For the moment, the shops are allowed to sell marijuana grown without regulatory oversight, but the State plans to require analyses on the levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of the product and the presence of contaminants.
A program of traceability of the product from seed to consumption, as well as the adoption of containers to the test children will also be required.
According to a report commissioned by the government of California, in 2016, 13.5 million pounds of cannabis have been produced on its territory. Eighty percent of this harvest have been exported illegally. Of the twenty percent, only one-quarter would have been sold legally for medicinal purposes.
This suggests that the important black market is going to remain in place, especially as the addition of taxes and fees will increase the cost of the ” pot ” legal, about 70 percent.