California’s January legalization of recreational marijuana has many residents excited to try the drug, whether for the first time or the thousandth. However, there remain numerous hurdles to acquiring weed; UC San Diego prohibits its possession on campus, the city of San Diego has its own set of regulations governing the sale of marijuana, and the Trump administration recently granted federal prosecutors the power to crack down on marijuana users in all states.
Through this confusion, UCSD students just have one question:
Who got the good loud?
In November 2016, Californians passed Proposition 64 legalizing the sale and recreational consumption of marijuana within the state. In September 2017, the San Diego City Council voted 6–3 to legalize the cultivation, manufacture, and retail of both medical and recreational marijuana in San Diego. Adults aged 21 or older can now possess, grow, and buy cannabis for recreational use. In addition, the nearby cities of La Mesa and Lemon Grove permit the sale of marijuana, with La Mesa also permitting cultivation.
According to the new bill, which has been in effect since January 1, all marijuana used for retail needs to be tested. The city council has approved 17 retailers for sale so far, and 12 have already opened for business. The council also decided to allow 36 stores within the city—four in each district—and repealed the regulation that the distance between two marijuana stores cannot be less than 100 feet.
Among these stores, the three stores nearest to UCSD are Torrey Holistics (1.4 miles), Apothekare San Diego Dispensary (5.7 miles), Mankind Cooperative (6.1 miles), and Urbn Leaf (8.0 miles). They are respectively in Sorrento Valley, on Convoy Street, and on Buenos Avenue. Other stores and delivery services include Raw Medical Marijuana Collective (9.1 miles), Fast and Friendly (12.1 miles), Meds In Route (15.0 miles), and A Green Alternative (28.3 miles).
Torrey Holistics and Urbn Leaf are among the newest additions to San Diego’s marijuana network, with Torrey Holistics receiving the first statewide license for the sale of recreational marijuana. The store is located a short walk from the Sorrento Valley Coaster Station.
“It has been really great for us and for other licensed dispensaries in San Diego simply because more people are allowed to enter the shops,” said Shelby Huffaker, the assistant marketing director of Torrey Holistics in an email. When asked about potential UCSD customers, Huffaker expressed confidence. “We are sure that any dispensary located near a college campus will see students coming to the store.”
Although the federal government is not directly targeting states for legalizing marijuana, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently rolled back an Obama-era barrier that kept federal prosecutors from pursuing marijuana-related cases in these states. Additionally, federal prohibition still has effects on California. For example, marijuana businesses can only trade in cash. Also, UCSD policies prohibiting marijuana on campus have not changed. Since UC schools still receive federal funding, they will need to comply by the federal laws.
What does this mean for UCSD students? If you’re over 21 and willing to go off campus to smoke, your weed run just got a whole lot easier.
Cindy Zhan is a staff writer at The Triton.