Harborside in Oakland and Berkeley Patient’s Group were among the first two marijuana dispensaries to sell the first ounce of legal recreational weed on New Year’s Day.
Crowds had lined up early. One man had arrived in Berkeley from Modesto at 4 a.m. to be first in line. He said he didn’t want to be a criminal any longer, and he was joined by Mayor Jesse Arreguin, who cut a green ribbon to start official sales at 6 a.m.
Nearby in Oakland, Harborside co-owner Steve DeAngelo gave a cheery speech, outlining the long history of marijuana and its status from taboo to approved.
The nation’s most populous state joins a growing list of other states, and the nation’s capital, where so-called recreational marijuana is permitted even though the federal government continues to classify pot as a controlled substance, like heroin and LSD.
Pot is now legal in California for adults 21 and older, and individuals can grow up to six plants and possess as much as an ounce of the drug. And since it’s legal, it is