Yes they are. You would have to get a California ID (like drivers license) to get an MMC (Medical Marijuana Card) from a doctor.The best way to get some is to wander around and find someone smoking a joint.
Laws are the same for locals as they are travelers in reference to violations, with low amounts of possession (under an ounce) of marijuana being a fine similar to a traffic ticket. But medical marijuana laws are different, as locals can get a medical marijuana card. Non-Californian residents are not eligible to receive a medical marijuana card in California.
The laws are the same for tourists and locals alike. If you are caught in possession of one ounce or under that is considered an infraction. Anything else you will be booked and charged for. It is illegal to loiter near known drug zones, and a felony to produce and sell. It is not worth the chance. Only medicinal marijuana is legal and under stringent circumstances here in California. Good luck.
If the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) Proposition 64 is passed on November 8th, any adult over the age of 21 that has a valid ID will be able to visit a recreational marijuana retail store when they open. If you gauge how other states have operated in the past, shops should be able to open January of 2017, so keep your ears to the ground, and get out and vote “YES” on Prop 64 in the upcoming election!