Marijuana, a.k.a., Cannabis, is often referred to as weed, pot or ganja among other things. There are both state and federal laws against the possession and sale of marijuana. However, California law permits medical use of marijuana by people who have medical doctor's recommendation.

It is a drug that is pretty easy to get in Davis, thanks to a solid base of college students. There are two head shops in Davis these days with a fairly decent selection. Newsbeat sells corn cob and mini wooden pipes without the holes in the sides (carbs); these are intended for tobacco only, but they are very cheap ($3.25) and will do in a bind. You can buy hemp products all over town and obviously the Whole Earth Festival causes a cloud to descend on the city. Folks that smoke a ton of weed are commonly referred to as stoners or potheads.

Some think that this substance is one of the cornerstones of Davis life and culture and that if Davis wasn't so full of good grass then it would be full of a lot of bored and angry college kids. Others disagree and think it is the scourge of the earth.

Some Davisites also believe that cannabis is a gateway drug ... to awesomeness. Of course, its nickname "demon weed" also points to others blaming it for quite a bit of sadness and pain.

Cultural Baggage airs on KDRT and is hosted by Drug Truth Network. It is hosted by an ex-cop who often interviews Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Oregano in a water pipe one of many UCD campus smoke spots, notice the graffitied joint

The Law

After Prop 36 was passed in 2000, the penalties for possession of marijuana were made much lighter. Possession of an ounce (28.5 grams) or less is not an arrestable offense. It became a misdemeanor punishable by a $100 fine, but no jail time. If you are under the age of 21, the court can also take away your driver license for up to a year. Possession of paraphernalia is punishable by a civil fine of $200-300 for the first offense, more for subsequent offenses. Penalties for the sale and cultivation of marijuana are much greater. More information on the law regarding marijuana can be found here.

In 2010, possession of an ounce or less was downgraded from a misdemeanor to an infraction. In effect, this means that the consequences of getting caught with a moderate amount of pot are no greater than if you were to receive a mild traffic citation. All that lingers is the $100 fine, although the matter is public record and could show up in a background check.

Medical Marijuana laws are also in effect and can be found here. Even though there are medical marijuana laws in California, the U.S. still classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug and sometimes enforces over California laws, including for medical marijuana. 420 Relief, now out of business, was a place in Davis where marijuana cards could be obtained by qualifying patients in order to have legal medical access.



on a bench in the Mace Ranch Park Gazebo

Hunter S. Thompson jokingly offers this advice:

You will not be able to see his eyes because of Tea-Shades, but his knuckles will be white from inner tension, and his pants will be crusted with semen from constantly jacking off when he can't find a rape victim. He will stagger and babble when questioned. He will not respect your authority. The Dope Fiend fears nothing. He will attack for no reason, with every weapon at his command — including yours. Beware. Any officer apprehending a suspected marijuana addict should use all necessary force immediately. One stitch in time — on him — will usually save nine — on you.)

—Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

—R.I.P. Hunter, you will be missed.

Health and Option

Anti-marijuana links

  • NIDA Factsheet - Supposedly Marijuana depresses the immune system, increases the chance of heart attack by eight times, etc.

Pro-marijuana links

Marijuana Addiction Recovery

Marijuana Anonymous For those who think pot may be a problem Marijuana Anonymous (MA) is available. MA is a 12 Step program guided by the 12 Traditions. A belief in a "higher power" is suggested but not mandated: only "a desire to stop using marijuana" is needed.

Other Recovery Options Other recovery options include medical treatment (talk to your physician!), LifeRing, SMART Recovery and other 12 step programs with a "general consumer" scope, such as Narcotics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous which welcome potheads. All have online information, chat, and meetings and other help for those who have lost control over their use. Many churches have 12 Step programs that don't follow the 12 Traditions.

Balanced views

  • National Academy of Sciences Report - Points out several health problems associated with smoking marijuana, and presents a case for medical use (and prompts for research on how to get the medical effects without the side effect of getting high).

Legal Issues

If you get caught smoking weed the consequences can vary widely. I would suggest getting caught by the police rather than your mother. They really are much easier on you. If you get caught by the police with a small amount of weed, they will probably confiscate it and your pipe/bong/joint/wooden leg/smoking device, take down your name, and tell you to be on your way. Legally speaking, possession of one ounce (28.5 gms) or less is punishable by a maximum $100 fine. If you have >1 ounce you'll probably get arrested and maybe charged. Possession with intent to sell any amount of marijuana is a felony. If you are driving, and the cops find weed in your car, you will probably get a DWI if you are acting stoned. However, there is no test for being under the influence of marijuana and therefore if you act normal its very hard to prove. Beware that cops are more likely to hassle you about drugs in a vehicle than when you are walking around with them.

Warning: If you are planning on getting caught with illegal drugs, I suggest you do not rely on me or Daviswiki, neither of which takes any responsibility for you. If you are charged with a crime, find yourself a lawyer.

According to the following lawyer has provided counsel on marijuana cases in the past:

Julie Ruiz-Sierra

(530) 758-3180

P.O. Box 73381

Davis, CA 95617

Contact the local ACLU for free legal advice.


* California prop. 215 Legalized medical Marijuana, however, Federal law is not in sync with this State law. external link

Local Sources

You just gotta know where, and who.

For medical marijuana users there are several dispensaries in the Sacramento and Bay areas. There are no dispensaries physically located in Yolo County. However, a few local patient to patient collectives serve the Davis area with delivery of medicinal products. You can find a list of delivery services in Davis at A list of California dispensaries outside of Yolo County is hosted at

Davis City Code 40.26.275: Prohibition of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. Medical marijuana dispensaries are prohibited in all zoning districts, including without limitation to all planned development districts. The city adopted this ordinance because of the conflict between federal and state law on medical marijuana.


A view on the topic of Marijuana

  • I'm new to wiki, and this is quite confusing. I just want to add to the discussion, not edit the entry. But I certainly have strong views about how the entry is slanted, and would love to change it, but I know from trying to correct wikipedia that the regulars are intensely defensive and will quickly censor things to fit their views. Be that as it may, hear me out as to this topic: for starters, the term "marijuana" is a racist term, designed to associate ganja with the scariness assigned Mexicans back in the "reefer madness" days (view that one on YouTube, kids, alongside U.S. Military propaganda piece "Hemp for Victory"!) when the persuasion machine of the hugely-powerful paper industry was making sure to nip in the bud any attempts to switch over to the more efficient hemp plant. So this page and anyone in the medical, safe-access movement should be calling it cannabis, its actual name, with MJ getting relegated to an embarassing footnote of history. (My initial search was for "medical cannabis" of course, which turned up no hit.) But that cultural smear mentality certainly pervades the discussion here, and as well in the article itself. Speaking of dictionaries, who says it's a "drug"? It's an herb. The propaganda machine of the government (i.e. Clinton's Gen. McCaffrey paying for propaganda elements to be placed in the plots of television Sit-Coms.. salon exposed that so someone might dig up the link) declares it to be, because they are lobbied heavily by the likes of Anheuser-Busch (repeated contributor to the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting which terrorizes rural citizenry by helicopter).. the typical megaconglomerate having its way thoroughly with Governmental power, to the detriment of the typical working stiff. I think the conformists would say "drug" has to do with effects.. well guess what, the one legal DRUG, as I see it, which is recreational and has virtually no medical applications, but which is excruciatingly physically addictive (while ganj is not in the least) is of course alcohol, the scourge of any and all college towns. Pushed at every corner store in addictively-sized and priced packaging, and the brews conform to zero requirements as to listing their ingredients. I can pull up a few quotes from the Founding Fathers of this land.. aggies in the true sense as they cherished the settlers' connection to the land and its fruits— praising cannabis and promoting its cultivation.. I suspect searching through such volumes for references to booze would produce comments more along the lines of warning against degeneracy. I can go on and on, but how about a bunch of links that do a better job than I can at making the case:
    • A show that airs on Davis' own KDRT is which is hosted by an ex-cop who often interviews Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.. (current officers, many).
    • Another show not to miss is web-only (or iPhone App?) as for Davisites: which airs over and is hosted by DEA-turned-whistleblower Mike Levine.
    • Not sure if it's in print anymore, but someone can look up and please link up the book stuffed with facts called "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" on cannabis issues specifically.
    • I actually did hear a science report on a shortwave ( broadcast (radionetherlands perhaps?) correlating daily pot smoking with dimentia as subjects got into middle age.
    • But I wonder whether one can adequately correct for tainted supply.. an insidious ramification of the arbitrary prohibition/demonization under which we suffer. (Hence the website, BTW.)
    • I'm sure someone good at editing and in the editorial in-crowd can reformulate my rantings here into some cogent editing of this article, but if you take nothing else away from reading my rant (excuse me for typing 80wpm)
    • Please bookmark the following always-current news site for this topic:

More views

  • I'm told smoking the seeds causes impotence (the chemical that causes this is concentrated there).
    • That study is fairly flawed when applied to most 'weekend' or casual users. The problem with that is that they way they defined marijuana users was people who smoked roughly twice a day on a continual basis. Anyone doing that much of anything will be come impotent.
    • NOTE: Who the hell smokes pot seeds??? I've heard of grinding them into flour, but I don't think I've ever known anyone to smoke 'em! —SummerSong
  • Also, pot-smoking has been proved to increase susceptibility to schizophrenia and depression. These results are not attributable to more mentally ill using marijuana, there is a definite cause-and effect between pot smoking and higher incidence rates of mental illness. Drug 'doubles mental health risk' March 1st, 2005 BBC News world edition
    • Despite what this particular study claims, studies are rarely able to PROVE a "definite cause-and effect" relationship between ANYTHING and most authorities agree that most drug studies tend to be flawed and/or biased to begin with (for both the pro and con side). Just take a look at researchers' track record through the years and you'll see this. *
    • For extra reading on drug culture and how it relates to health in general, I really recommend the book The Natural Mind: A Revolutionary Approach to the Drug Problem by Andrew Weil, M.D. —BobbyGray
      • Andrew Weil is a quack. —WilliamLewis
        • According to that author. I would still recommend the book, and would NOT endorse that article nor its author (anyone who has read much of Weil's work will note that the article is taking several words out of context, and completely skews Weil's philosophy). —BobbyGray
  • Most medical experts agree that smoking cannabis in itself does not cause mental illness, but that people who are predisposed to psychosis are much more likely to develop symptoms if they use the drug regularly.
  • It's important to note that marijuana has never been found to increase any risk of anything other than lung diseases/cancer when smoked. Instead, there are correlations, but no positive or negative cause and effects. Any side effects pot smoking has is countered by its other effects, as my Biology of Cell Death instructor admitted. In fact, marijuana is less harmful than alcohol because of this. If weed is ingested, not smoked, there is really no bodily harm (however, it is not doubtful that harm can come from not studying or working enough due to the calmness and sometimes lack of energy/laziness that weed attributes to). —LizaAbeja
    • if you google: 2006 "lung cancer" marijuana, you'll find that there was a study done at UCLA showing NO LINK between lung cancer and smoking marijuana. they actually think the THC may fight against lung cancer!! (one of many articles: Washington Post)
  • If anyone is curious about side effects, I suggest you read this article from The Straight Dope, a source I find very reliable. It addresses all the issues mentioned above. —MiriamKaufman
  • Thanks for the article, Miriam. I just didn't have the hard evidence to back up my info and the article covers the points I made perfectly! I especially like, "on the whole it causes fewer problems than its two main competitors on the recreational drug scene, alcohol and do have to ask why marijuana is illegal and alcohol and tobacco aren't." ( —LizaAbeja
  • Whoever made the claims about impotance and schizophrenia, will you cite your sources? —SummerSong
  • I would wager that smoking pot seeds is an accidential occurance.. Unless some dude didn't want to be a poppa and tried to create his own form of birth control. —LeonaScanlan
  • A marijuana smoker is a degenerate. —NicholasCorwin
    • Like Bob Marley or John Steinbeck, they were total degenerates right? —Ericmoose
    • No more degenerate than someone who drinks alcohol, I would say. KJM
      • 21+ alcohol drinkers aren't breaking the law, so I'd say illegal drug use is far more degenerate. —JosephBleckman
        • Nothing about legality mentioned here.
          • Ah, but meanings have never been under the exclusive interpretation of dictionaries. —JosephBleckman
            • So therefore making it legal would cause a sharp drop in the number of degenerate people in this country!! Degeneracy has to do with morality - legality is a distinct concept. -KJM
              • Morally speaking then, that behavior is considered by many to be degenerate. - CarlosOverstreet
        • The extermination of Jews was legal under Nazi Law, therefore those who did it are better than Americans who smoke cannabis. Concentration camp guards were being lawful citizens, just following orders, while these awful marihuana addicts are breaking the law! —jefferson


  • Actually, according to a World Health Organization study, smoking pot is SAFER than smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol. (bbc article)
  • my understanding is marijuana destroys the cilia in the throat / lungs, where as ciggarettes have some steroids or other things that cause the cilia to stay alive and mutate. —StevenDaubert
    • Steven, I'm not familiar with the relation of cilia to the destruction of throat/lungs, but if you google: 2006 "lung cancer" marijuana, you'll find that there was a study done at UCLA last year showing NO LINK between lung cancer and smoking marijuana. they actually think the THC fights against lung cancer!! smoking tobacco, however, did show there to be a link to lung cancer. (articles: Washington Post, Science Daily, Fox News) "People who smoke marijuana—even heavy, long-term marijuana users—do not appear to be at increased risk of developing lung cancer. Marijuana smoking also did not appear to increase the risk of head and neck cancers, such as cancer of the tongue, mouth, throat, or esophagus, the study found."
      • Marijuana is a doubleplusdangerous drug. Do not commit drugcrime. The government wants to protect you from yourself, please let it! —BrentLaabs
        • Keeping the cilia alive would encourage them to mutate iirc, as opposed to them just being killed off and being replaced —StevenDaubert

I find it both amusing and somewhat hypocritical that Davis, the supposed paragon of liberal thought and deed, forbids medical marijuana dispensaries within it's borders. They cite the conflict between state and federal law Daubert

  • That fact has always annoyed me. Hunter S. Thompson once said something about how left and right-wing politics are actually illusory in their description They are better described as a circle rather than a straight line with true polar opposites. Extreme liberalism actually has a lot in common with fascism because, in both systems, you have people who are sure their way of life is superior to the point of having no problem bossing you around. For example, Davis is the only place I've lived where strangers have consistently come up to me on the street to tell me to put out my cigarette because it's hurting their health. —ScottMeehleib