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Pot Legalization Has Further Steps Under Prop. 64

Katheirne Hitt / Flickr
 

Katheirne Hitt / Flickr

The passage of Proposition 64 legalizes recreational marijuana in California, but only some aspects take effect immediately.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, who backed the measure, called the initiative’s passing a “beginning.”

"Legalization is not an act that occurs on Election Day, it’s a process that unfolds over the course of many, many years," he said on a conference call.

It immediately becomes legal for Californians to buy and own the drug for personal use, but not for dispensaries to sell it.

State agencies must write and finalize regulations for licensing non-medical marijuana businesses by January 1st, 2018.

Before then, the proposition allows lawmakers and agencies to decide whether to distribute temporary licenses.

People with criminal records for marijuana-related crimes can now seek to have them expunged, while those currently serving sentences can petition for early release.