It is important to note that the views expressed in this article are ours and ours alone. We are neither doctors nor lawyers and have written this article based on the facts as we see them, to help our readers better understand Prop 64’s pros and cons.
The arguments for and against Proposition 64 are very complex and many of the points are a matter of opinion and personal preference.
What is Proposition 64?
Proposition 64 is a voter initiative designed to legalize cannabis in the state of California. It is also known as The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).
Prop 64 has put an end to California’s criminalization of weed and encourages responsible use by adults through the control, regulation, and taxation of the drug.
On November 9, 2016, the initiative was passed with 57.13 % voter approval which then lead to recreational cannabis sales in the state of California beginning on January 1, 2018. Scroll down to read all about prop 64 pros and cons.
Prop 64 pros and cons
The pros of prop 64
- Proposition 64 has been designed to create a safe and legal system for the use of marijuana for adults and a big part of this is to protect the safety and health of children. Before the initiative, marijuana was widely available in the state of California but there was no protection for minors.
- Before Prop 64, there were no assurances of the safety of marijuana and its related products.
- Despite a large number of users, the sale of marijuana did not generate any tax revenue for the state.
- It is supported by the California Medical Association. This is largely because it follows recommendations relating to best practices of US states that have legalized marijuana use by adults.
- The proposition adheres closely to California’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy (the commission includes law enforcement and public health experts).
- The Adult Use of Marijuana Act / Prop 64 will give financial relief to the criminal justice system. Previously, the system has been struggling to cope with the backlogs of cases for non-violent marijuana offenders.
- Now that Prop 64 has been passed, it will be possible to establish industry standards that relate to the testing, packaging, and labeling of marijuana and its many forms.
The cons of prop 64
- Opponents of the proposition believe it could increase motoring accidents. Back in 2014, Colorado opened retail stores selling marijuana and they saw an increase in weed-related fatalities of 32 percent.
- It appears to have no safeguards against the growth of the plant near schools and parks.
- It could increase the demand for black-market marijuana and drug cartel involvement.
- It could delay the total banning of smoking advertisements on television.
- It has also been suggested that it is an assault on underprivileged neighborhoods which are already having difficulties in trying to cope with problems cause by alcohol and drugs.
- Arrests of people that are caught driving under the influence of marijuana do not take into account the amount of THC in the driver’s body. A positive blood test for THC will not necessarily define the level of impairment of the motorist. This is different from alcohol, in that the level of alcohol in the blood is a key factor in charging a driver.
- Overall, the cannabis community doesn’t like the changes as there are far too many restrictions on the cultivation of the plant with much of the distribution being controlled by big businesses and Unions.
What you need to know about prop 64
- Those over the age of 21 are now allowed to possess, cultivate and sell marijuana. Under these new laws, adults are allowed to possess up to 1 oz of marijuana and they are permitted to grow up to six marijuana plants inside their homes.
- The regulation relates to commercial activities regarding commerce for recreational use. There is a 15% excise tax and an additional tax of $9.25 per oz of flowers or $2.75 per oz of the leaf.
- Users should remember that they cannot smoke marijuana in public and if caught will be asked to pay a $100 fine.
- As we mentioned, you’re not allowed to drive under the influence of marijuana.
- If you are caught selling marijuana without a license, the penalty has been reduced to six months in the county jail from four years in state prison.
- If a business wants to sell marijuana, it must obtain a license from the state-level Bureau of Marijuana Control.
- If a business wishes to permit on-site consumption, it will need to get a permit from its local government.
- Any store that sells marijuana is prohibited from the sale or consumption of alcohol or tobacco.
Who will regulate The Adult Use of Marijuana Act
The fast-developing Medical Marijuana Industry will now have regulation by the following entities:
- The California Department of Food & Agriculture – For the regulation of cultivation.
- The California Department of Public Health – To monitor the manufacture of marijuana edibles.
- The California State Water Resources Control Board – To oversee any environmental impact that the growing of marijuana has on water quality.
- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife – To oversee any impact on local environments.
- The California Department of Pesticide Regulation – To keep an eye on and regulate the use of nutrients and pesticides used in the cultivation of marijuana.
How will the marijuana tax money be spent?
All taxes will be paid to the California Marijuana Tax Fund and will be divided as follows:
- 60% to youth programs
- 20% to environmental damage cleanups
- 20% to public safety
What information will you be able to see about the marijuana you buy?
The packaging of marijuana must display the following:
- net weight
- type of the product
- the amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), cannabidiol, and other cannabinoids
- whether pesticides were used in its cultivation
For further reading, check out California Proposition 64, Marijuana Legalization (2016) at ballotpedia.com.