New California Marijuana Laws

Natalie Jones, Reporter

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California passed new marijuana laws at the beginning of the year that drastically change the laws regarding its usage. Prior to the new year, marijuana was legal for medical purposes only. However, Prop 64 made the recreational use of marijuana legal. Anyone of the age of 21 is allowed to buy marijuana for its recreational use. Despite the state law legalizing the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana, it is still illegal at the federal level. It is not within state’s rights to break a federal law, and yet here we are. Since it is illegal at the federal level, Fresno County has made the sale of marijuana for recreational use illegal, despite the new California Laws.

Omar Hemaidan, the student services administrator at Clovis High recognized that student services has been dealing with more students and marijuana usage on campus.

“The last couple of years it has been on the rise,” said Hemaidan when asked about drug-use referrals to the Responsibility Center. “We are not really sure why, but we think the use of vape pens with marijuana wax is contributing to that. Students are starting to become more creative in how they use it.”

The question as to how the new laws legalizing marijuana will affect high school campuses is still up for speculation, and comes down to the decisions of students. Clovis High school staff can only enforce having a drug-free campus when a student brings marijuana to school or attends school under the influence.

“Will it impact schools? Possibly,” said Hemaidan. “It really depends on the students using it on campus or if they are under the influence.”

If students are found to be in possession of marijuana on campus then it is a suspendable offense. A meeting is set up at the district office to determine placement for that student.

Clovis High’s campus officer, Ross Taliaferro, commented on the student marijuana use on campus.

“This is my second year, and within the two years we have had about 10-15 kids in possession of marijuana or wax oil. On top of that we have had another 20-25 kids under the influence of marijuana.” Ross said.

With the new California law, officer Ross speculated that Clovis High may see more students in the responsibility center for marijuana.

“ I think we might see a little bit of a rise.” Ross said, “Even if it is legal in California, it is still very illegal on campus”

A former Clovis High sophomore, who wished to remain unidentified, was caught with possession of marijuana on campus and was relocated to Gateway. He currently does not use marijuana, but can attest to his time when he used it.  He does not believe that the new California laws will make it easier for students to obtain marijuana.

“It has always been easy to get it,” the former Clovis High student said. “I could go on Snapchat, and hit up my plug. Then I can walk to my plug or that person can come to me. All within 20 minutes.”

Since he does not use marijuana currently, he can speak for some of his friends who do. They do not think that the new laws legalizing the recreational use makes it any easier to get since it has always been fairly easy.

“Nope. It is the same people you are getting it from. It may be easier for them, but it is still relatively easy.”


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New California Marijuana Laws