Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) put together this breakdown of Prop. 64 to address questions and concerns from patients, friends and family about the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Here at Potbox, we think this is one of the most articulate and informed write-ups we’ve seen on AUMA, so we’re sharing it with you today with their permission.
Why should we legalize now?
Today, we have a broken system that profits drug cartels, threatens the safety of children, harms our environment, and uses law enforcement resources on small, victimless crimes that disproportionally affect minorities.
As with all legislation, Prop. 64 is a work-in-progress and will need to be improved upon as we navigate and learn from this new regulation together. Prop. 215 is STILL being improved upon today, 20 years later.
While it may not be perfect, AUMA creates a safe, legal and regulated system that ends the failed war on marijuana. This initiative protects our patients, children, consumers, small business owners, workers and environment.
BPG along with Potbox supports Prop. 64 because it:
1. Advances social and criminal justice reform
Existing criminal penalties for marijuana offenses have been disproportionately enforced against people of color. AUMA eliminates or substantially reduces these penalties. Many existing misdemeanors and felonies will disappear from the books.
Reduces criminal justice penalties and makes them retroactive
✓ Past convictions for crimes reduced or eliminated by AUMA may be expunged from or reduced on a criminal record
Prevents youth in California from carrying a criminal record into adulthood
✓ All marijuana penalties will be charged as infractions, with no possibility of jail time
Funding for communities most impacted by the war on drugs
✓ The Community Reinvestment Fund will give $50 million annually to support economic development, job placement, and legal services in these communities
Allows persons harmed by drug war to enter the legal market
✓ A prior conviction for possession, possession for sale, sale, manufacturing, transportation, or cultivation of any controlled substance shall not be the sole basis for the denial of a license
2. Protects medical patients and home grows for all
AUMA builds on existing laws such as Prop. 215, to strengthen, not limit, medical marijuana protections. The biggest difference is that this measure will tax adult-use marijuana sales.
Medical patients are not required to pay sales tax
Secures right to home grow for all adults
✓ AUMA specifically prevents cities and counties from banning the cultivation of marijuana inside a home or within any enclosed structure
✓ Adults will be allowed to grow up to 6 plants
Protects parental rights and increases patient privacy
✓ The lawful conduct of a medical patient cannot, by itself, be used to restrict custodial or parental rights
✓ Requires cities and counties to identify patients using unique identifiers instead of names
✓ All patient databases are subject to the privacy protections of the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (the state equivalent of federal HIPAA laws)
Revenues will fund necessary research on marijuana
✓ $10 million to public universities in California for research on legalization
✓ $2 million to UCSD Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research
3. Protects California’s small businesses, farmers and workers
Many small business owners are worried that Prop 64 will pave the way for “Big Marijuana” (similar to “Big Pharma”)–large corporations that gain a monopoly over the non-medical marijuana market. There are numerous protections against this:
Microbusiness licenses available
✓ Allows small businesses cultivating marijuana (in less than 10,000 sq. ft.) to provide services from seed to sale
Large cultivation licenses (over 22,000 sq. ft.) will not be issued for the first 5 years
✓ Allows small growers the opportunity to establish themselves in the legal market first
Licensees are prohibited from engaging in anti-competitive behavior
✓ Large cultivators are prohibited from vertically integrating
✓ Violators will be liable for monetary penalties
Specific legislation against monopolies
✓ State regulators will have the power to deny a license or license renewal to prevent the “creation or maintenance of unlawful monopoly power”
✓ A licensee may be disciplined—and risk losing their license—if the licensee violates any law that protects the health, safety or rights of workers
✓ Supports labor union organizing
4. Protects California’s environment and natural resources
Illegal marijuana grows have had harmful impacts on ecosystems for years. The Bureau of Marijuana Control and the Departments of Food & Agriculture, Fish & Wildlife, and Pesticide Regulation will set statewide regulations to repair and preserve our environment.
Dedicated revenue (20%) to Environmental Restoration and Protection Account
✓ Environmental regulation, enforcement and restoration to rectify decades of environmental harm caused by illegal marijuana grows
State agencies must consider environmental impact before issuing licenses
✓ Businesses must comply with water quality and flow, natural resource protection, application of pesticides, land conversion, and riparian habitat protection
5. Protects the public health of all Californians
Prop 64 imposes the strictest-ever regulations governing labeling, packaging and testing of non-medical marijuana products, to protect both children and consumers.
Restrictions on marketing to youth
✓ Prohibits marijuana businesses, marketing, and advertising near schools and youth centers
Strict labeling, packaging and testing requirements
✓ Packaging: Must be re-sealable and child-resistant. Cannot be attractive to young children
✓ Labeling: As detailed as any food product, including safe “portion” sizes and a warning if nuts of other known allergens are used
✓ Testing: All marijuana will be independently tested to comply with state standards for consumer safety prior to being sold
6. The time to end prohibition is NOW
We simply cannot wait any longer for perfection. Too many individuals, families, and communities are still being torn apart by the failed war on marijuana.
Vote YES on 64, California!
For more information, please visit www.Yeson64.org.
This post originally appeared on BPG’s blog and was syndicated with permission.