Being a digital nomad has become one of the most popular types of employment over the course of the past decade, and that’s because this type of job has a lot of perks and very few downsides. You get to travel to a lot of places, and in most cases, all that you need to be able to do your work is a decent Internet connection and a more than decent laptop. You can be an entrepreneur, a computer programmer, a web designer, or a copywriter — all of these can allow you to live the life of a digital nomad.
You can even travel overseas, if you want, to places such as Thailand or other exotic destinations, but you always have to make sure that you have the practical means to be able to do what drives you — your work.
Whether you are an American or not, you’ve probably dreamed of traveling to the Golden State before. After all, the sun, the sea, and the amazing beaches are some of the common reasons you might want to consider California to be your next destination. But that’s not all. Some of the most iconic American cities are located in this state, and even the smaller ones have their charm.
But one thing that we would recommend before you set out on your Golden State adventure is to do your homework about some of the things that could get you in trouble. Some bizarre laws are still very much applicable despite being dated or downright useless. But California has unique laws. Here, you can buy marijuana, but smoking it under certain circumstances could get you in real legal trouble, in which case you’d need a Criminal Defense Lawyer.
If you want to make sure that you do not end up paying a hefty fine or risk jail time, perhaps you should take a couple of minutes to read some of the tips we’ve listed below. Some of them might even put you in a good mood, especially if you’re a digital nomad.
We’ll start with something positive and we’ll tell you that California is one of the places where companies cannot keep the data of their users without their consent. According to Harvard Business Review, even companies that generate revenue from targeted advertising over Internet platforms, as is the case with Google, Twitter, and, of course, Facebook, must give their users the permission to delete their data if they so wish to do.
For many digital nomads and people working in the IT&T industry, this change is more than beneficial. California passed the law in July of 2018, so it is rather recent, and there are many companies that have tried to fight it as best as possible.
The personal information that falls under the categories of data that a consumer can choose to delete, thereby forcing the service provider (such as one of the social media networks mentioned previously) to do the same ranges from personal identifiers to Internet browsing history.
So, in many ways, using the Internet in the state of California is much safer than in many other places. The law is set to come into effect at the beginning of 2020, though, so that’s one mention we must make.
Drinking, driving, and other important aspects
Not that we’d like to suggest that it’s one of the things you want to do when you’re traveling, but it’s good to know that California has a set of rather unique laws in this respect and that its penalties are even more so.
This state has some of the most stringent DUI laws in the United States. For example, a first offense can set you back by $2,000 for a fine, but that’s only if you’re lucky. You can also get 48h in jail, your license suspended for as many as several months, as well as an obligatory completion of a 3-month alcohol education program.
Subsequent DUI offenses have more severe punishments. A third one can get you an $18,000 fine, a 30-month alcohol treatment program, as well as a whopping of 16 months in state prison. Understand the law before you decide to get behind the wheel while you’re under the influence. Better yet, take a cab or an Uber.
Something else you might want to know about California is that the law requires you to stop for sobriety checkpoints, which means that the Police can test your blood alcohol content pretty much anytime. Don’t drive without a license, a suspended one, or a revoked one because the Police can take you into custody right away and can impound your car.
Also, it is outside the law to talk on your cell phone as you are driving, at least without the use of a headset. You cannot use the device to email or text, but apparently, you are allowed to use navigation apps such as Google Maps as there was the case of one Steven Spriggs of Fresno who appealed a ticket that he received for using the app. And he won.
One thing that sets the Golden State aside from many of the rest is that marijuana consumption is legal here, under certain circumstances and limitations. If you are over the age of 21, you are allowed to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis per day, which should be enough for you to fill at least a dozen joints. If you don’t like smoking the thing, you can purchase it in the form of edibles ranging from brownies to breakfast bars, but only up to the amount of 8 grams.
Purchasing the pot needs to be done at a state-licensed recreational dispensary, where you will be required to show an ID or a driver’s license. Because it is illegal to sell marijuana from 10 pm to 6 am, you’ll have no means of getting it at night.
Another essential aspect that you have to be aware of is that you can’t smoke marijuana anywhere. If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam, you probably know that you can get the pot from a licensed store, but you aren’t allowed to smoke it in that place. However, you are allowed to do so in the street.
This doesn’t happen in California as marijuana buyers are required by law to consume it only on private property. You can’t even eat a special brownie in public. There have been some attempts to change this law so that people are allowed to smoke in public cafes (not in those on university campuses, however), but no such efforts have been successful just yet.
Since both alcohol and marijuana can affect a person’s perception of reality and most of all, reflexes, the consumption of both is illegal if you intend to drive. While there’s a limit to alcohol, there isn’t any for pot, so you’d better avoid smoking any at all if you want to get behind the wheel at some point.
If your stay in California is approaching its end and you’d like to take some of the pot with you on the road, you might want to know that transporting it by plane is illegal even if it is medicinal. According to the Department of Homeland Transportation Security Administration, you are not allowed to carry marijuana in your carry-on or checked bags.
While the security officers won’t search for it on purpose, the dogs are trained to look for potentially dangerous substances and you will undoubtedly get searched if a security screening singles you out.