California Proposition 64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative, will be on the November 8, 2016, ballot in California as an initiated state statute. Supporters refer to the initiative as the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act”.
A “yes” vote supports legalizing recreational marijuana and hemp under state law and establishing certain sales and cultivation taxes.
A “no” vote opposes this proposal legalizing recreational marijuana and hemp under state law and establishing certain sales and cultivation taxes. (Ballotpedia.org)
The long-form ballot summary is as follows:
Legalizes marijuana under state law, for use by adults 21 or older.
Designates state agencies to license and regulate marijuana industry.
Imposes state excise tax of 15% on retail sales of marijuana, and state cultivation taxes on marijuana of $9.25 per ounce of flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves.
Exempts medical marijuana from some taxation.
Establishes packaging, labeling, advertising, and marketing standards and restrictions for marijuana products.
Prohibits marketing and advertising marijuana directly to minors.
Allows local regulation and taxation of marijuana.
Authorizes re-sentencing and destruction of records for prior marijuana convictions.
The shorter ballot label summary is as follows:
Legalizes marijuana under state law, for use by adults 21 or older. Imposes state taxes on sales and cultivation. Provides for industry licensing and establishes standards for marijuana products. Allows local regulation and taxation. Fiscal Impact: Additional tax revenues ranging from high hundreds of millions of dollars to over $1 billion annually, mostly dedicated to specific purposes. Reduced criminal justice costs of tens of millions of dollars annually.
The long-form, official ballot summary for Proposition 64 was changed from the initial summary provided to initiative proponents for the purpose of circulating the initiative for signature collection. The original summary provided for inclusion on signature petition sheets was:
Legalizes marijuana and hemp under state law. Designates state agencies to license and regulate marijuana industry. Imposes state excise tax on retail sales of marijuana equal to 15% of sales price, and state cultivation taxes on marijuana of $9.25 per ounce of flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves. Exempts medical marijuana from some taxation. Establishes packaging, labeling, advertising, and marketing standards and restrictions for marijuana products. Allows local regulation and taxation of marijuana. Prohibits marketing and advertising marijuana to minors. Authorizes resentencing and destruction of records for prior marijuana convictions.
Who could use marijuana?
Proposition 64 would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults aged 21 years or older. Smoking would be permitted in a private home or at a business licensed for on-site marijuana consumption. Smoking would remain illegal while driving a vehicle, anywhere smoking tobacco is, and in all public places. Up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana would be legal to possess. However, possession on the grounds of a school, day care center, or youth center while children are present would remain illegal. An individual would be permitted to grow up to six plants within a private home, as long as the area is locked and not visible from a public place.
Who could sell marijuana?
To sell marijuana for recreational use, businesses would need to acquire a state license. Local governments could also require them to obtain a local license. Businesses would not be authorized to sell within 600 feet of a school, day care center, or youth center.
The initiative was also designed to prevent licenses for large-scale marijuana businesses for five years in order to prevent “unlawful monopoly power.”
Who would regulate marijuana?
The Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation would be renamed the Bureau of Marijuana Control. It would be responsible for regulating and licensing marijuana businesses.
Counties and municipalities would be empowered to restrict where marijuana businesses could be located. Local governments could also completely ban the sale of marijuana from their jurisdictions.
How would marijuana be taxed?
Proposition 64 would create two new excise taxes on marijuana. One would be a cultivation tax of $9.25 per ounce for flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leaves, with exceptions for certain medical marijuana sales and cultivation. The second would be a 15 percent tax on the retail price of marijuana. Taxes would be adjusted for inflation starting in 2020.
Local governments would be authorized to levy taxes on marijuana as well.
Where would revenue be spent?
Revenue from the two taxes would be deposited in a new California Marijuana Tax Fund. First, the revenue would be used to cover costs of administrating and enforcing the measure. Next, it would be distributed to drug research, treatment, and enforcement, including:
- $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:
- 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.
What would penalties be?
Individuals under age 18 convicted of marijuana use or possession would be required to attend drug education or a counseling program and complete community service. Selling marijuana without a license would be punishable by up to six months in a county jail, a fine up to $500, or both.
If Proposition 64 is approved, individuals serving sentences for activities made legal under the measure would be eligible for resentencing.