Tahoe Production House recently produce this PSA for our local Drug Free Coalition!
The Adult Marijuana Use Act of 2016
Proponents of Prop. 64 are saying the initiative would end the drug war, free up cops and courts to focus on true crime, and even let imprisoned pot POWs go free. But a deeper look reveals that Prop. 64 will not do what it claims. Using the text of the initiative itself, this article looks at some of the misconceptions about Prop. 64.
1) MYTH: PROP. 64 WILL BRING TAX REVENUE TO FUND SCHOOLS, HEALTH CARE, INFRASTRUCTURE
FACT: NO TAX REVENUE WILL GO TO GENERAL FUND UNDER PROP. 64
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.
2) MYTH: PROP. 64 LEGALIZES HOME GROWS FOR ALL
FACT: FEW COULD LEGALLY GROW UNDER PROP. 64
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.
3) MYTH: PROP. 64 WILL PROTECT SMALL FARMERS
FACT: PROP. 64 WILL DECIMATE SMALL FARMERS
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 Weedmaps 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.
4) MYTH: PROP. 64 IS NECESSARY TO REDUCE DRUG ARRESTS
FACT: PROP. 47 HAS ALREADY MADE PROP. 64 OBSOLETE
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. Nearly10,000 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.
5) MYTH: PROP. 64 CREATES NO NEW CRIMES
FACT: PROP. 64 CREATES NEW CRIMES FOR TEENS/YOUNG ADULTS
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.
6) MYTH: PROP. 64 WILL BE IRREVOCABLE BY LEGISLATURE
FACT: PROP. 64 LETS LEGISLATURE ALTER IT AT WILL
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.
7) MYTH: PROP. 64 PROTECTS PATIENTS’ RIGHTS
FACT: PROP. 64 LETS LOCALITIES DECIDE MMJ PATIENTS’ RIGHTS
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 taxationfor 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.
8) MYTH: WHAT HAPPENED IN WASHINGTON WON’T HAPPEN HERE
FACT: PROP. 64 COULD END MEDICAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY AS WE KNOW IT
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.
Above all, the goal of any recreational initiative should be to simply stop arresting people for cannabis—which California has already achieved to great success. We don’t need another initiative to ‘grant’ us rights we already have. Is ending prohibition necessarily dependent upon implementing a massive, unwieldy corporate cartel and regulatory scheme, when California has already relaxed its pot laws to the point of virtual non-existence?
Dragonfly De La Luz, renowned ganja critic, is one of the earliest cannabis journalists. An activist for the liberation of cannabis her entire adult life, Dragonfly actively supports thoughtful, progressive legalization measures and actively opposes those that would corporatize cannabis for the benefit of the few. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Education on Medical Marijuana, the Journal for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and many others.
Her full article contains several more reasons to vote NO on Prop. 64, each with links to the initiative text and supporting opinions. For the sake of all those, especially patients, who choose marijuana over the state-sanctioned toxic options, please read it @ https://voteknowprop64.blogspot.com/).
article from http://connectionmagz.com/santacruz/8-reasons-why-californians-should-vote-no-on-prop-64-the-adult-marijuana-use-act-of-2016/