California Cannabis Legalization Proposition 64 (AUMA) Pros and Cons Draft 2


AUMA/ Proposition 64

Pros/ Cons (Draft 2)

 

PROS

1) Ends Prohibition –too many people criminalized for non-violent drug offenses.

2) The funding entity is from the Tech Industry, not Oil, Tobacco, Alcohol or Pharmaceutical. We think this adds some benefit to the cannabis community and we should be a little more receptive to united efforts. Software and internet related issues will be closely monitored.

Update : it has been discovered by the Sacramento Bee in late August that George Soros of Monsanto is involved and the internet/ software stakeholders are highly ambitious.

3) Allows local governments to enforce state laws and regulations for non-medical marijuana businesses.

4) New privacy protections for patients who obtain medical marijuana identification cards.

5) Community Reinvestments grants program to local health departments for qualified community-based nonprofit organizations to support 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.

6) Flows needed to maintain natural flow variability, and to otherwise protect fish, wildlife, fish and wildlife habitat, and water quality.

7) There are many other benefits that will be posted on HumboldtNORML.org

In summary the main benefits are that AUMA will

(1) legalize private adult use and possession of one ounce or less of marijuana; (2) legalize cultivation of up to six plants for personal use in a private, enclosed space; (3) reduce penalties for cultivation, sale, transport, and possession with intent to sell from mandatory felonies to misdemeanors in most cases; (4) allow prior offenders to petition the court for dismissal of charges that have been decriminalized; (5) legalize, license and regulate the commercial sales and production of marijuana for adult use along lines similar to the state’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act; and (6) allow on-site consumption in specifically licensed facilities, unlike previous initiatives in Colorado and elsewhere.

AUMA would in no way detract from the existing rights of qualified Prop. 215 patients to possess and cultivate for personal use. It would protect the child custody rights of qualified patients, and prohibit localities from completely banning indoor cultivation. However, it explicitly does not interfere with the right of employers to discriminate against marijuana users­—medical or otherwise—both on and off the job, nor require localities to allow legal safe access to medical marijuana.

CONS

Update : it has been discovered by the Sacramento Bee in late August that George Soros of Monsanto is involved and the internet/ software stakeholders are highly ambitious.

1) Possession limits 6 plants and 1 oz outside private residences.

2) Large Tiered Systems over 22,000 sq ft but.

No Type 5, Type 5A, or Type 5B cultivation licenses may be issued before January 1, 2023

Existing small cultivators have expressed concern about AUMA’s provision for a Type 5 cultivator’s license above MMRSA’s limit of ½ acre indoors or 1 acre outdoors, although no Type 5 licenses are to be issued before 2023. Licensing priority must be given to applicants who can demonstrate compliance with the Compassionate Use Act since Sept. 1, 2016, and all licensees must be continuous California residents as of Jan. 1, 2015. (The residency restriction sunsets on Dec. 31, 2019.) While MMRSA limits vertical integration for commercial operations, AUMA would allow a single business to hold multiple licenses for cultivation, manufacturing, retail sales and distribution. AUMA also omits MMRSA’s transporter’s license, and adds a microbusiness license category. The state must investigate the feasibility of creating nonprofit license categories with reduced fees or taxes by Jan. 1, 2018.

3) Taxes

AUMA would raise up to $1 billion in state tax revenues by imposing a $9.25 per ounce tax on all commercially cultivated cannabis, plus a hefty 15% excise tax in addition to the existing sales tax and local taxes. Medical marijuana patients with a state ID card would be exempt from the existing 7.5+% state sales taxes, but not the other taxes. California NORML is seriously concerned that these taxes could be unduly burdensome to needy patients and promote illicit black-market trafficking.

Cultivations Tax-Tax on all harvested marijuana that enters the commercial market.

Flower Tax-The tax for marijuana flowers shall be nine dollars and twenty five cents ($9.25) per dry weight ounce. That’s about $148/ lb!

Leaves Tax-The tax for marijuana leaves shall be set at two dollars and seventy five cents ($2.75) per dry-weight ounce. That’s about $44/ lb and market rate is $50-100/ lb!

4) Earmarked taxes to 2028

The tax revenues from AUMA would be allocated to specific programs, as follows: $3 million would be sent annually to the CHP to establish driver protocols, $2 million to UCSD to study the “efficacy and adverse effects” of marijuana, and $10 million to study the implementation of AUMA each year. After that, 60% would go to youth drug education; 20% toward cleanup of environmental damage, and 20% more to CHP and local government grants for training, law enforcement and public safety. These provisions could not be amended by the legislature until 2028.

5) Vertical Integration-Unlike MMRSA limited number of permit types.

6) Possess an open container or open package of marijuana or marijuana products while riding in the passenger seat?

7) “smoke” means to inhale, exhale, burn, or carry any lighted or heated device or pipe.

Although AUMA would make it lawful for adults to consume marijuana, it forbids consumption in any public place except for licensed outlets when authorized by local governments. Cal NORML is concerned that this will reduce the locations where medical patients can inhale their medicine, as they can presently consume legally in streets and public areas where smoking is permitted. Compounding this problem is that AUMA defines vaporizing as smoking, despite compelling scientific evidence that smokeless electronic vaporizers pose no public health hazard. Violators would be subject to a $100-$250 ticket.

Introduction

The Humboldt NORML team has read all 60+ pages of AUMA and we would like to voice our praise and concerns.

We continue to be a part of the discussion shaping the future laws of the cannabis/ marijuana industry. Humboldt NORML does not currently endorse or oppose AUMA. We do endorse the end of cannabis prohibition under good faith efforts. No legislation or plan is ever going to be perfect and we will help make recommendations for future concerns before deciding if the pros outweigh the cons.

No changes can be made before the vote, but the initiative spells out that certain provisions can be changed by a majority vote in the legislature, and others by a 2/3 vote. This is different than Prop. 215 which could not be changed by the legislature. So these changes would take place should Prop. 64 pass.

Topic

Californians will now have the opportunity to vote on Prop. 64 this November 8th as AUMA has officially qualified for the ballot by collecting over 600,000 signatures.

The purpose of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act is to establish a comprehensive system to legalize, control and regulate the cultivation, processing, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of nonmedical marijuana, including marijuana products, for use by adults 21 years and older, and to tax the commercial growth and retail sale of marijuana.

The major funder for AUMA is Napster founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker, and the measure is endorsed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. It also has the support of the California Medical Association, California Democratic Party, California NAACP, ACLU of California, California Cannabis Industry Association, Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and national NORML, among others. California NORML and Humboldt NORML have not opposed or endorsed AUMA and are trying to make recommendations for our concerns.

Opposing the measure are the California Police Chiefs Association, California State Sheriffs’ Association, California Peace Officers Association, and California Hospital Association. California Teamsters and Prison related groups are supposedly contributing significant amount against AUMA. The Teamsters to control distribution and Prison groups to maintain high prison populations. People need to beware of who is behind anti AUMA propaganda before they spread too much hate against the legalization of cannabis.

As a disclaimer, Humboldt NORML is a volunteer based organization, we do our best to advocate for cannabis human rights advocacy with the time and resources available. We are local hardworking community citizens doing our part and donating our personal time for the greater good of the cannabis industry.

Executive Director of Humboldt NORML, Matt Smith-Caggiano says “it is my duty to read all 60+ pages of AUMA and dissect each line before making an informed decision.”

California NORML director Dale Gieringer says “AUMA is only a partial step towards complete legalization, which will require changing federal law,” “Even if it passes, we will still have our work cut out for us to strengthen and defend the rights of patients and consumers to use marijuana.”

NORML founder and legal counsel Keith Stroup stated “We have to keep our eye on the goal, which is ending marijuana prohibition and establishing a legal market where consumers can obtain their marijuana,” “We simply must not permit the differing views regarding some of the details of legalization to be used to divide us and maintain prohibition.”

Humboldt NORML will be posting AUMA on HumboldtNORML.org that will include our praises/ concerns and you can visit the California NORML website.

The following are some of the Pros/ Cons we have selected according to our interpretations of Prop. 64 and is by no means limited to other benefits and concerns.

Conclusion

Legalization in California would be progress for individual human rights to cultivate and consume cannabis. A defeat may become a major setback for human rights legalization in general. Major factors for discontent are that excessive taxation would make cannabis unaffordable to many people and result in a thriving black market. Safety measures to eliminate mega farms and vertical integration for the cannabis industry are other points of discontent. Big business financing is a major concern.

We report the facts and let you decide!

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