Californians voted to approve marijuana for recreational use on Tuesday, in what the legalization movement is hailing as its most significant accomplishment since the first states legalized it four years ago.
With the success of Proposition 64, nearly 40 million more people will soon be living in a state that has decided to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol rather than treat it like a criminal enterprise. California now joins Colorado and Washington state ― which voted to legalize weed in 2012 ― as well as later arrivals Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C.
Drug policy reformers say the approval of Proposition 64 will expand the legal marijuana industry and boost its political clout while they push for nationwide change.
“This vote will dramatically accelerate the end of federal marijuana prohibition,” Tom Angell, chairman of drug policy reform group Marijuana Majority, told The Huffington Post.
With California joining the growing ranks of legal marijuana states, marijuana policy is likely to become a much bigger issue on Capitol Hill, Angell said.
“California alone has just added 53 more U.S. House members to the list of federal lawmakers who represent places where marijuana is legal,” he said. “Last year, we came only nine votes shy of winning an amendment to stop federal interference with state marijuana laws. Do the math.”
California’s measure allows adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants at home. It will also allow state-licensed retailers to sell weed to adults. Although it will be at least a year before the state begins issuing licenses, the measure gives regulators the authority to issue temporary permits to some existing medical marijuana businesses, which will be able to sell weed for recreational use until the formal system comes online
Proposition 64 outlines a 15 percent excise tax on all retail marijuana sales to help fund the forthcoming regulatory scheme. It flags additional revenue for youth substance abuse education programs, law enforcement training and environmental cleanup and restoration of public lands that have been damaged by illegal marijuana cultivation.
California alone has just added 53 more U.S. House members to the list of federal lawmakers who represent places where marijuana is legal.Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority
A report examining the potential benefits of the measure, released Monday by California fiscal analysts Blue Sky Consulting Group, found that legal marijuana will generate almost $1 billion annually in state and local revenue once the system is fully implemented.
While the retail, licensing and tax provisions of the law won’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2018, various provisions surrounding the personal use of marijuana will take effect on Wednesday.
Beginning Nov. 9, it will no longer be a crime under state law for adults to possess, transport, purchase or use limited amounts of weed. Adults can also begin to grow marijuana plants at home, although personal cultivation is subject to local restrictions. And individuals with prior marijuana-related convictions that wouldn’t have been a crime under the new law or would have resulted in a lesser sentence can begin to petition the court to have their record cleared or changed to reflect the new law.
Fiscal analysts in the state predict that the measure will also save the state’s criminal justice system as much as $100 million annually.
Proposition 64 does not make it legal to openly display or use marijuana in public, though even under current law, Californians have long held liberal views of the plant. It’s not unusual to smell weed smoke in many of California’s cities, even as residents frown upon the use of tobacco products in public.
The new law also authorizes the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture to begin regulating the cultivation, manufacture and sale of industrial hemp.
This newsletter/publication is a paid advertisement and is neither an offer nor recommendation to buy or sell any security. We hold no investment licenses and are thus neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice. The content in this report or email is not provided to any individual with a view toward their individual circumstances. thestockradio. com is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Market IQ Media Group, Inc. (“MIQ”). To date MIQ has been compensated a total of tweny thousand dollars from the company for MRPHF advertising and promotion. This party may have shares in MRPHF, and may liquidate their shares which could have a negative effect on the price of the stock. This compensation constitutes a conflict of interest as to our ability to remain objective in our communication regarding the profiled company. Because of this conflict, individuals are strongly encouraged to not use this newsletter as the basis for any investment decision.