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Behind The Initiative For Marijuana Legalization In California And Prop 64

Katelyn Baker

Well-Known Member
The initiative for marijuana legalization in California has gained enough traction for a vote on Nov. 8.

Known as California Proposition 64 (Prop 64), residents of California will vote on whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana.

If Prop 64 passes, adults aged 21 or older would be allowed to use marijuana without a medical prescription. Smoking would be allowed in a private home or at a business with a license for on-site marijuana consumption.

Smoking marijuana would remain illegal while driving.

Recreational users would be allowed to possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and eight grams of concentrated marijuana (concentrated into a mass that looks like honey), according to BallotPedia.com.

Individuals can also grow up to six plants in a private home, as long as the growing area is locked and not visible to the public.

Possession of marijuana at youth centers, day cares, and on school grounds where children are present will remain illegal. Businesses with a marijuana license are not authorized to sell within 600 feet of the above mentioned institutions.

Prop 64 will also establish certain sales and cultivation taxes.

One tax for cultivation would be $9.25 per ounce for flowers and $2.75 per leaves. The exception would be for certain medical marijuana sales.

The second tax would be 15% on the retail price of marijuana, and taxes would be adjusted for inflation starting in 2020.

But marijuana laws are confusing, especially when it comes to state marijuana laws and federal marijuana laws.

Here's a breakdown of the current marijuana laws for California ahead of the vote on Prop 64...

History of Marijuana Laws in California

Currently, the possession and use of marijuana in California is illegal for recreational purposes.

But in 1996, Proposition 215 legalized medical marijuana. Proposition 215 exempts patients from criminal laws who possess or grow marijuana for medical usage that's been recommended by a physician.

According to BallotPedia.com, 55.58% of voters voted in favor of Proposition 215.

But isn't marijuana still illegal under federal law?

Yes, medical and recreational marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

But in 2014, a congressional budget rule passed that prevents the Department of Justice (DoJ) from using funds to interfere with implementation of state medical marijuana laws.

And more recently, a court ruling on Aug. 16 declared the DoJ can no longer spend money to prosecute medical marijuana businesses where the defendants are following state marijuana laws, according to Fortune.

This doesn't legalize marijuana under federal law, but it is a step in providing more protection for marijuana users under both state and federal laws.

But proponents and opponents of Prop 64 right now are focused on state laws for the Nov. 8 vote...

Who Is in Support of Prop 64?

Right now, it's a tight race. According to a SurveyUSA poll conducted from Oct. 13 to Oct. 16, 51% of voters supported Prop 64.

Supporters for the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in California have raised $18.1 million.

Supporters of the initiative for marijuana legalization in California include:

  • Sen. Mark Leno (D-CA)
  • Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA)
  • Sean Parker (founder of Napster)
  • The California Democratic Party
  • The Green Party of California
  • National Latino Officers Association
Musician and entrepreneur Sean Carter (Jay-Z) also worked with Yes on 64 for a promotional video.

The proponents claim that Prop 64 would provide a safe environment where marijuana is controlled and taxed. They also argue it would decrease black market drug selling, generate tax revenue to help fund afterschool programs, and decrease law enforcement costs.

As of January 2016, it was more expensive in Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington to purchase an ounce of marijuana from dispensaries than it was to buy on the street, according to research site Statista. But proponents argue that this would change.

In the graph below, you can see the biggest discrepancy is in California, where dispensary sites are 37% more expensive than street prices.

Legal recreational marijuana use would create more competition for legal dispensaries, which would make them keep prices competitive.

With the prices potentially lower, people would purchase from the legal sellers and not fund the black market.

But there is opposition to Prop 64...

Who Is Against Prop 64?

No on 64 has raised $2 million as of Oct. 17.

According to Weed News, $1.3 million of that came from an individual, Julie Schauer of Pennsylvania.

Opponents of Prop 64 include:

  • U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Sen. Joel Anderson (R-CA)
  • Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-CA)
  • Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-CA)
  • The California Republican Party
  • The California Association of Highway Patrolmen
  • The California Police Chiefs Association
Opponents argue that the initiative for marijuana legalization will result in more impaired driving and increased black market activity. They say it will hurt underprivileged neighborhoods and would hurt small cannabis farmers in Northern California, potentially driving them out of business.

Those are the cases for and against the initiative for marijuana legalization.

And before making a decision, it's important to know exactly what the money from Prop 64 will fund...

Where Would the Money Go for Prop 64?

The two taxes from legalized recreational marijuana would be deposited into the California Marijuana Tax Fund.

The funds would be used to cover the costs of enforcing and administrating Prop 64.

After those costs were covered, it would then be used for drug treatment, research, and enforcement.

For 11 years, $10 million per year would go to public California universities to research the implementation and results from Prop 64. Also, $10 million per year, increasing by an additional $10 million per year until 2022, would go to grants for local health departments and nonprofit organizations supporting job placement, mental health treatment, and medical care for communities affected by past drug policies.

There would also be $3 million given annually for five years to the Department of California Highway Patrol for creating protocols to determine if a driver is impaired because of marijuana.

Finally, $2 million would be given per year to the UC San Diego Center for Medical Cannabis Tax Fund to study medical marijuana.

Remaining revenue would be distributed across three different programs. Of the revenue that's left over, 60% would go to youth programs for drug education and prevention services.

The rest of the money would go to preventing and alleviating environmental damages caused by illegal marijuana growers, as well as to programs designed to reduce driving under the influence of marijuana.

But California isn't the only state voting on marijuana laws on Nov. 8.


News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Behind The Initiative For Marijuana Legalization In California And Prop 64
Author: Jack Delaney
Contact:Money Morning
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Website: Money Morning


Member of the Month: July 2012, July 2014 - Nug of the Month: July 2012
I encourage all of the California Cannabis supporters to vote NO on prop 64!!!

This legislation will ruin the cannabis industry as we know it, allowing only those with millions of dollars to invest to take part legally. None of the tax money will go to K-12 schools, state infrastructure, or the general fund and a huge portion of taxes will go to California Highway patrol, research on DUIs and detection technology, and driving limits, drug education, rehab programs... pretty much the major recipients of tax money will be the ones that have persecuted cannabis users for years... none of the fancy little summaries explain this...

$2 million per year to the UC San Diego Center for Medical Cannabis Research to study medical marijuana.
$10 million per year for 11 years for public California universities to research and evaluate the implementation and impact of Proposition 64. Researchers would make policy-change recommendations to the California Legislature and California Governor.
$3 million annually for five years to the Department of the California Highway Patrol for developing protocols to determine whether a vehicle driver is impaired due to marijuana consumption.
$10 million, increasing each year by $10 million until settling at $50 million in 2022, for grants to local health departments and community-based nonprofits supporting "job placement, mental health treatment, substance use disorder treatment, system navigation services, legal services to address barriers to reentry, and linkages to medical care for communities disproportionately affected by past federal and state drug policies."

The remaining revenue would be distributed as follows:[1]

60 percent for youth programs, including drug education, prevention, and treatment.
20 percent to prevent and alleviate environmental damage from illegal marijuana producers.
20 percent for programs designed to reduce driving under the influence of marijuana and a grant program designed to reduce negative impacts on health or safety resulting from the proposition.
Click to expand...
Prop 64 gives too much power to local city and county governments, and about 95% of California cities have now banned any commercial cannabis business, dispensaries, deliveries, everything!

Prop 64 will allow you to grow 6 plants, but also allows cities, such as San Clemente can require you to purchase a license to grow your 6 plants... ???what?? so we vote to make it legal, and now we have to pay our city, put our name on a list? who can access this information? your insurance, Child protective services, home loan financing companies, banks, jobs??? its not written into legislation on where that information goes if your required to get a city permit for your LEGAL 6 plants...

Prop 64 will require medical users to go to a primary care physician to get their medical license, but there is no protection for the doctors... how many doctors will prescribe cannabis when they are required by law to only prescribe FDA approved medications... hmmm sounds like BS to me, how many doctors are really going to risk giving everything up to prescribe cannabis with no protections?

Prop 64 will require medical patients to register with the state... so now your information is in a government database.. Yep, no 2nd amendment for you, also the legislation states that you will be notified if someone requests your MMJ information, but there is no provisions written that you can deny the request...

With the passing of MMRSA early in 2016, and now MCRSA, approximately 95% of the California cities have banned all commercial cannabis business, and many cities, especially in socal have banned even medical growing. So now there are only about 10-15 cities out of 490 something cities in California allowing for commercial cultivation permits... and these cities only have small zones allowing it... therefore the little bit of real estate that is in these cities, in these zones has skyrocketed in price, I mean millions of dollars for an acre? so who can afford to even get into the business??? only millionaires, established brands, big corporate money...YUP!

Prop 64 will allow cities and counties to BAN outdoor growing, forcing those with land to bring their grows indoors, not only cutting down on the size they can grow and limited by plant counts, but also will put even more stress on our electrical grid and raise the carbon footprint.

Prop 64 does away with the ability to give promotional "free" products away... no more First time patient deals, no more going to trade shows or cannabis cups and getting free seeds, or products...

Prop 64 offers no protection against CPS taking away your kid for recreational users.

Prop 64 in many ways stiffens the penalties, and still includes offenses that will result in heavy fines, drug programs and even prison time. Much worse than how the laws currently sit.

Prop 64 now requires all "legal" cannabis businesses to obtain a license... but there is no mention of costs of these licenses yet... so what happens when they say, oh you want a 22,000 foot warehouse... well that will cost you $100,000 per year.. plus the tax per square foot of your canopy..

Prop 64 also will control pricing to make sure that businesses can not undercut each other...which is great for large cultivation facilities who can operate and produce product at extremely cheap prices... but how with the small guys, or the medium size growers do? how will they profit trying to keep up with large scale production operating with much more profit?

Prop 64 requires superior record keeping, seed to sale tracking, and also if you are a license holder, guess what, your 4th amendment also gets removed, as being a licensed cannabusiness allows for government inspections anytime without notice during normal business hours, records can be inspected, and pretty much if 1 record is misplaced or improperly logged, huge tens of thousands of dollars fines you will be slapped with...

The cost of cannabis will go up, as not only a 15% state tax is slapped on, but almost $10 per oz on top of that, plus allows for local cities and counties to add their own tax... therefore that $60 1/8 now may cost $70-84 or more. Eventually the prices will come down slightly.. but who is going to buy cannabis legally if black market is cheaper... same thing that is going on in Colorado, and its hurting the legit businesses as they have to pay such high taxes, payrolls, leases..etc...

Prop 64 limits personal grows to 6 plants per household...not per person..

Prop 64 contradicts itself withing the text, in some places saying its legal to possess 8 grams of concentrate, and in other sections saying only 4 grams.

Prop 64 will require anyone over 18 who is caught with over an ounce or 4 grams of concentrate, will receive either or both a $500 fine and/or up to 6 months in jail (this is legalization?)

Prop 64 will include penalties of up to 6 months in jail, and/or $500 fine for growing over 6 plants.



Contrary to popular assumption, Prop. 64 states that NONE of the tax revenue from recreational cannabis will go to the General Fund. Instead, all tax revenue would go into the California Marijuana Tax Fund – an enormous slush fund designated solely to financing the massive bureaucracy that Prop. 64 would create. Not only does this create a system ripe for corruption and cronyism, since only Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, expected to head this recreational weed bureau, and his appointees would have the power to decide who receives those millions, but it is in stark contrast to what’s happening in other states that have recreational cannabis.



Prop. 64 allows cities and counties to ban all but indoor cultivation. In fact, since 75 percent of local governments already have, or are considering bans, the majority of Californians will only have the option to grow indoors.

While proponents claim the initiative will legalize home grows of six plants or less, what they neglect to mention is that the freedom to grow outdoors would apply only to residents of a few localities; that number is per residence, not per person; it would be legal only under highly restrictive conditions; and if you break the rules, you could go to jail for 6 months or prison up to 4 years.

Practically speaking, having a home grow would be extremely difficult for most residents. And this is intentional: Since Prop. 64 was written not to decriminalize cannabis, but to legalize a recreational commercial cannabis industry, its goal is to get as many people as possible to buy cannabis. And the easiest way to do that is to make it nearly impossible for them to grow their own.



While Prop. 64 claims that it “protects small farmers” by including “anti-monopoly provisions”, this only applies to the first 5 years of legalization. After that time, millionaire -------- founder Justin Hartfield – the second largest investor in Prop. 64 after Sean Parker – intends to turn the current farm-to-table cannabis model into Big Tobacco.

The mom-and-pop cultivators that have been the backbone of the industry for generations would be priced out of competition in short order. Hezekiah Allen, a Humboldt-based spokesperson for the California Growers Association, believes this could “result in a catastrophic economic collapse for huge swathes of California.” Small farmers will barely have enough time to build a brand before the mega-grows with unlimited plant numbers overtake the industry and undercut them out of existence. This is a corporate cannabis coup.



Thanks to Prop. 47, passed in 2014, simple possession of almost all drugs has been reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. As a result, California is drastically reducing drug arrests and the prison population across the state.

In Los Angeles, home to the nation’s largest jail system, drug arrests fell one-third in just the first year of its passage. Nearly 10,000 inmates will be eligible for resentencing, and “more than 4,300 state prisoners have already been resentenced and then released.” And felony cannabis arrests dropped a full one-third last year, which NORML says is credited to Prop. 47.



While California is making significant gains reducing cannabis arrests, Prop. 64 ironically creates new crimes that don’t exist today, and calls for jail time for a host of harmless offenses – including possessing more than an ounce (6 months in jail and/or a $500 fine).

Even sharing any amount of cannabis would be a crime punishable by jail for teens and young adults aged 18-20 – even though it is not a crime today. Young people in this age group – which includes most college students – will face up to 6 months in jail and a $500 fine for simply sharing a joint together. Adults 21 and over who pass a joint to another college-age adult under 21 face the same steep penalty. In both cases, if they have certain prior convictions, under Prop. 64 they could be sentenced to state prison time, not county jail, for two, three or four years.

Currently, sharing any amount of cannabis under an ounce with other adults under 21 is a mere infraction in California, punishable by a $100 fine. If Prop. 64 passes, this activity would become a criminal offense, elevated to misdemeanor status statewide, thus making young offenders ineligible for federal student aid.



Typically, voter initiatives cannot be amended except by another voter initiative—it’s the legal equivalent of “power to the people.” However, by giving legislators authority to change this initiative, Prop. 64 makes it a “power to the legislature” initiative, which can be changed at their whim, without voter approval or consent.



Today, some 2 million patients enjoy the right to grow as much cannabis as they require – literally an unlimited amount, as upheld by the Supreme Court in the People v. Kelly ruling—for any condition “for which marijuana provides relief.” And under California law as it is written today, anyone can become a patient, and no one has to lie to do it. Under Prop. 64, however, “unlimited” would drop to six (6) plants, which is nowhere near enough to treat many of the most serious ailments.

The initiative would further limit patients’ access by actually making it more difficult to get a doctor’s recommendation. Whereas under current law, a patient needs nothing more than an oral or written recommendation to obtain and grow cannabis, under Prop. 64, patients would be required to pay up to $100 annually for an ID card that currently is not required by law [Section 11362.755 (b)].

Surprisingly, for more proof that Prop. 64 will impact medical cannabis, one need look no farther than page one of the initiative, where in Section 2B it is written in black and white: Prop. 64 “will consolidate and streamline regulation and taxation for both nonmedical and medical marijuana.”

If you think that merging the two systems would have no negative impact on patients, we now have a clear example of what would happen under a consolidated market. It comes from Washington State.



As of July 1 in Washington state, all medical dispensaries have been shuttered, and patients must now buy their medicine from recreational outlets at a bank-breaking 46 percent tax increase, on top of the overall higher price of recreational cannabis.
During the state’s campaign for recreational cannabis in 2012, patients were told by proponents of Initiative 502 that Washington’s medical cannabis program would be left intact. But the initiative contained a rare provision that allows legislators to alter it at their whim.

Just six months after the first recreational pot shop opened, the legislature introduced a measure to end the state’s 15 year old MMJ program, close all medical dispensaries and drastically limit how much patients could grow and possess, in a deliberate move to force patients into the heavily-taxed recreational system.

This is destined to be repeated in California because Prop. 64 will replace, repeal and supersede Prop. 215. It is important to note that Prop. 215 is a voter initiative. And under state law, there is only one way a voter initiative can be changed, and that is with another voter initiative. Since Prop. 64 is also a voter initiative, and purports to regulate and tax “both nonmedical and medical marijuana” (Section 2B), Prop. 64 will unquestionably repeal Prop. 215.

Like Washington’s initiative, it also gives the legislature the same power to alter the initiative. In Washington, lawmakers decided to use that power to increase tax revenue by nixing the MMJ program. In California, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has similar plans. In a recent interview with Mother Jones, Newsom makes clear not only his expectation that the two markets will become one, but that the reasons for this are entirely based on increasing potential tax revenue.

Overall Prop 64 will be ONLY good for big money corporations, investors, and tax recipients, but will not be good for small business, patients, the public or anyone else... VOTE NO on PROP 64!!!!
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