Welcome to our Cannabis Field Guide, which is OC Weekly’s latest edition of Rolling Paper. If you haven’t noticed, a lot has been happening since last January, when the recreational use of marijuana finally became legal for adults in California—more than two decades after the state became the first in the nation to allow the medicinal use of cannabis. For those who remember, the years after voters approved the so-called “Compassionate Use Act,” better known as Proposition 215, in November 1996 weren’t exactly easy. Activists who took the new law literally were swiftly set up by local cops and prosecutors, and many went to jail and even prison for trying to provide cannabis to sick patients.
Those days are long gone. Now you can walk into any of a dozen or so legal dispensaries in Santa Ana, and 10 minutes later, walk out with whatever kind of cannabis product you desire, anything from high-end boutique flower to custom pre-rolls, vape pens and cartridges, edibles, and more. In the year since recreational marijuana became a reality in California, the industry has boomed, and the array of options is almost mind-bending. There’s even a cannabis lounge within driving distance of OC.
To help you navigate this strange new world, our cannabis correspondent, Jefferson VanBilliard, and art director, Michael Ziobrowksi, have assembled this handy Cannabis Field Guide. It tells you what to buy, what to do, where to go, and just as important, where not to go and what not to do. Plus, there’s awesome comic artwork by OC Weekly’s calendar editor, Aimee Murillo, who happens to be a badass artist.
Enjoy (somewhat) responsibly!
Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is Editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).