California Votes on Recreational Marijuana

In industry feature, legal, marijuana marketing, Uncategorized by Josh WhitakerLeave a Comment

This is Finally Going to Happen! (Probably.)

auma-2 It sounds like a step in the right direction doesn’t it?

You’d think cannabis enthusiasts would be celebrating the well deserved placement of this November’s ballot. So why aren’t they all celebrating?

Some obvious organizations are against the initiative such as the California Republican Party and the California Hospitals Association. The California Correctional Supervisors Association and numerous law enforcement agencies are also against it.

Why those last two? Could it be money?

Is it possible that the 181.4 million dollars of marijuana-asset seized money between 2002-2012 that gets distributed between law enforcement agencies has something to do with it?

These agencies also receive federal grants for drug enforcement that would be most likely curtailed if this measure is to pass. It’s possible that the financial piece, all 181.4 million dollars of it, could be a correlation to the agencies being against the legalization measure. It could. There’s nothing to prove causation. It also isn’t too far of a conclusion to jump too. Unless you’re a protozoan—then that may too far.

If those organizations kind of make sense in their stance against the current ballot initiative, what about the true, diehard proponents of legalization, for instance, Mickey Martin. If you don’t know, he wrote Medical Marijuana 101, and has been a lifetime supporter of pro-cannabis legislation. He’s against the initiative too.  

Why?

He says the The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) simply isn’t good enough. He says that, “California deserves better.” He argues that supporters of the Act are really just rolling over and giving up. His concerns are that this law wouldn’t change a whole heck of a lot, and instead would do significant harm. He highlights that the new law would give “away tens of thousands of farms.”

mikey-martinHe may be onto something there, as the Small Growers Association is also against the measure. Martin further argues that law enforcement would actually be more stringent than it is now.

So yeah, he’s not a fan.

But some people are. And they have some pretty darn good reasons too.

While Martin is right for the most part, that many proponents do contend that this legislation is the best they’re going to get, and that’s why they are for it, that’s a sound argument. It very well may be the best they’re going to get. And to fail to pass this measure may set back marijuana legalization 2 more election cycles. Yikes.

That isn’t the only reason either.

Here’s a summary of some of the main points:

  • Lessens criminal penalties
  • Allows up to 6 plants for personal, home grows
  • Legalizes cannabis for those 21 and over
  • It has highly stringent anti-monopoly provisions
  • California would no longer criminalize adults or incarcerate children for cannabis
  • Cannabis would be controlled, regulated, and taxed at 15 percent

Let’s take a look at that last point more closely—the money

  • The AUMA is estimated to save up to 100 million annually on taxpayer costs
  • Also estimated to bring in up to 1 BILLION annually in tax revenue
    • Tax money would go to:
      • Teen drug prevention and treatment.
      • Training law enforcement to recognize “under the influence” driving
      • Preschool education
      • Environmental protection
      • Medical research
      • Other stuff

There’s more to the finer points, but that’s the gist of it.

auma-2The AUMA is also supported by some pretty heavy hitters, regardless if that support is lukewarm. The California NAACP who recognize that people of color and minorities are unfairly targeted in arrests and seizures related to cannabis. This organization also highlights that the AUMA would reduce the work force of prison-industrial complex—which is a good thing for humanity.

Even bigger, it’s supported by The California Democratic Party, The California Medical Association (that’s a huge one!), the lieutenant governor of California, and Bernie Sanders, to name a few more big names and organizations. If you like, the whole list of endorsers is here. There are a whole heck of a lot of them!

Beyond the pro and con, is voter turnout. This year those voters that are likely to endorse this measure are at a remarkable 60 percent! That’s up from 54 percent last year. And while over 300k signatures were needed to even get the measure on the ballot, over 500k were obtained. Those are impressive numbers.

Clearly, California wants to legalize marijuana. They are most likely going to do that in just a few short weeks. The law is written how its written, however, and the potential problems stemming from it are very real. It’s going to be quite a spectacle to watch unfold. We at Team Maryjane are ready!

Buckle up. It’s about to get wild.

 

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