SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Thousands sent up a cheer and a collective plume of marijuana smoke at the stroke of 4:20 p.m. Wednesday in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
They gathered at the park’s “Hippie Hill” to toke up, eat and drink the afternoon away into the night. A plane dragging a banner encouraging attendees to “smoke weed” circled overhead, while unlicensed vendors set up tables and makeshift tents to sell all types and strains of bud, not to mention T-shirts, pipes and food.
This year’s celebrations of all things marijuana throughout the U.S. come amid loosening restrictions and increasing tolerance for the plant’s use from Alaska to Massachusetts.
Fans of the drug have long marked April 20 as a day to roll weed or munch on pot-laced brownies and call for increased legal access to it.
In San Francisco, a man was asking $100 for an 8-inch bud of marijuana he said weighed more than 3 grams.
Nearby, liquid tinctures said to contain the active ingredient in marijuana were selling for $10 for a 4-ounce bottle.
There were plenty of laced Jolly Ranchers, baked goods and other edibles available.
Marlene Manning, pushing a stroller with her 6-month-old granddaughter, was glad to be back in her native California for the annual 4/20 celebration. She wasn’t partaking, but said she was celebrating freedom.
“This is so refreshing,” the 50-year-old woman said, adding that she just relocated from Florida, where “everything is against the law.”
It could be the last unofficial pot holiday on which users have to call for legalization in California, with a pot initiative expected on the November ballot. The drug’s use for medical purposes got approved in 1996.
Voters in Nevada, Arizona and Massachusetts also are expected to consider marijuana legalization measures.
And the Vermont Legislature is discussing a proposal to legalize the possession of up to 1 ounce.
Recreational use already is legal in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
In Anchorage, Alaska, a downtown marijuana pot club scheduled a “420 Blaze Party” in a state where recreational use is legal but sales of weed aren’t until later this summer.
“We’re a private club, we’re an events club and our members can consume their own product,” said one of the owners, Theresa Collins. The club offered a free shuttle home for attendees.
Police in Burlington, Vt., said several hundred gathered on the University of Vermont campus to celebrate.
In New Hampshire, dozens of people smoked marijuana on the Statehouse lawn in Concord.
Several Las Vegas marijuana businesses held grand opening ceremonies, including the Cannabis Chapel, which offered customers a pot-themed wedding package complete with a silk cannabis bouquet — all for $104.20. Nevada voters legalized medical marijuana use in 2000, but it wasn’t until 2013 that lawmakers created rules allowing for dispensaries.
One new dispensary, Blum, opened its pristine shop Wednesday in a gritty industrial park a few blocks from the Las Vegas Strip. Dispensaries are banned in the tourist corridor, so owners are banking on shuttles to bring them some of the more than 40 million who visit the city each year.
The origins of the number 420 as a code for marijuana are murky. The most accepted version is rooted in a public high school in Marin County, Calif., across the Golden Gate Bridge north of San Francisco.
A group of 1970s high school students there said they coined the number as code for the time to meet after school to smoke.
Marijuana is legal, almost legal, illegal in various places
The Associated Press
Marijuana is illegal for any reason under federal law, but states have boldly experimented with allowing its use anyway, starting with California 20 years ago.
Some states have made the drug legal for medical purposes; others have removed jail sentences for carrying small amounts; and some let adults 21 and older use it for any reason.
Here’s a look at where the states are on pot as well as legalization developments in other countries:
LEGAL FOR MEDICAL USE
Eight states allow people with certain medical conditions to use marijuana, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization group that tracks state pot laws.
Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Vermont each have their own lists of ailments for which sufferers can use the drug with a doctor’s recommendation.
The drug cannot legally be prescribed in any state, because it has no accepted medical use under federal drug law. But some doctors are willing to recommend it under certain conditions.
LEGAL IF IT DOESN’T GET YOU HIGH
Seventeen states, many in the South, have passed laws opening the door to marijuana use as long as the drug is extremely low in THC, the intoxicating ingredient.
The laws have emerged in the last three years following publicity about children with severe seizures benefiting from oils derived from marijuana.
Marijuana legalization activists often disregard these laws for being loaded with so many caveats that the drug isn’t being used.
The laws, which still violate U.S. law, exist in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
NOT LEGAL BUT WON’T PUT YOU IN JAIL
Five states have removed the potential for jail time for those caught with small amounts of the drug. That means pot isn’t legal for recreational use, but people smoking it to get high can’t be put behind bars. Those states are Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina and Ohio.
COMBINATION OF THE ABOVE
A few states both have approved marijuana use by sick people and removed jail sentences for recreational users. One is California, whose voters passed the nation’s first medical marijuana law in 1996. Others are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada and Rhode Island.
LEGAL FOR ADULTS OVER 21
Four states and Washington, D.C., allow marijuana possession in small amounts by adults over 21 for any reason. They are Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and the nation’s capital.
INTERNATIONAL POT LAWS
Cannabis possession is illegal in most countries under a 1925 treaty called the International Opium Convention. But just like the U.S., some nations either flout the treaty or don’t enforce it.
Legalization supporters consider pot possession either legal or tolerated in Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay, Germany and the Netherlands.
Some consider the drug just as illegal as heroin but don’t enforce the ban. Others, like Uruguay and the Netherlands, allow its recreational use.
Source : http://www.mohavedailynews.com/news/thousands-puff-for-legal-pot-at-parties/article_1fcf1e94-09ef-11e6-9d7c-cfb6f249ff9b.html