Radical Rant: Part Two of Russ Belville’s Top 10 Myths About California’s Prop 64

Photo by Nico Escondido

Earlier this week I went off on the many irresponsible and often untrue things said about Prop 64, the legalization initiative before California voters in November.

I wanted both to cite the opposition’s case fairly, and provide the actual facts of the matter, citing the relevant portions of the initiative itself.

The result turned out to be long, so I split the list into two parts. Here’s myths six through ten, again with footnotes down at the bottom.

MYTH #6:

“PROP 64 CREATES NEW CRIMES AND IMPRISONS KIDS!”

FACT: PROP 64 ELIMINATES SOME CRIMES, REDUCES PENALTIES, AND SPARES KIDS FROM JAIL.

When some people read Prop 64, they will find a section that lists some crime and penalty and claim that is a “new crime”. Usually what they’ve found is just a restatement of what the crime is now (like possessing over an ounce, no change[38]) or they’ve found the penalty that applies to a crime in general (like anybody any age sharing any marijuana[39]) without noting the section below that describes legal exceptions (like sharing less than one ounce of marijuana between adults is legal[40]).

The truth is that the penalty for every violation of marijuana law in California remains the same or is decreased or is eliminated under Prop 64, with the exception of toking in public where tobacco smoking has been banned – that increases from a $100 to a $250 infraction ticket[41]. The only new penalties created are some infractions for things like having an open container of marijuana[42] or toking as a passenger in a car[43] and penalties related to commercial license and regulation violations[44].

Kids are far more protected under Prop 64. Under current law, they can receive the infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies just as adults can[45]. Under Prop 64, all juvenile marijuana violations for possession[46], cultivation[47], sales[48], transporting and gifts[49] become infractions with counseling, community service, and drug education. For the 18-20-year-olds, possession[50], cultivation[51], sales[52], and transporting and gift[53] penalties stay the same or are reduced.

MYTH #7:

“PROP 64’S LOW LIMITS MEAN COPS WILL BUST MORE TOKERS!”

FACT: PROP 64 WILL LIKELY ELIMINATE THREE OUT OF FOUR OF ALL MARIJUANA CHARGES.

A bizarre theory about Prop 64 is that by setting its possession limit down to a measly one ounce and cultivation at a mere six plants per household, so many people will be over that limit that cops will make even more arrests than before, especially now that they’re funded by marijuana taxes[54].

But how? When marijuana is legalized, the sight and smell of it are no longer probable causes for police investigation. The four legal states have all had to retire their pot-sniffing K-9 officers, because a dog can’t smell the difference between a legal ounce and an illegal pound. Even if the dog sniffs coke, meth, and heroin, too, he’s useless, because a savvy dealer would just keep a legal gram of weed in his illegal drug stash. His defense attorney will get the stash evidence ruled inadmissible in court because the cops can’t prove the dog alerted on illegal drugs rather than legal marijuana.

This isn’t just conjecture; it’s played out in the legal states. Colorado in its first year of legal weed saw an 80 percent decline in all marijuana charges filed in criminal courts. In Washington, the decline was 63 percent, presumably because they do not have legal home grow, so evidence of cultivation is still a probable cause to investigate crime.

MYTH #8:

“PROP 64’S TAXES GO TO A SPECIAL ‘SLUSH FUND’ FOR THE GOVERNOR!”

FACT: PROP 64 DETAILS EXACTLY HOW TAXES BENEFIT ENVIRONMENT, RESEARCH, AND COMMUNITIES

A misleading critique of Prop 64 claims that the marijuana taxes don’t go into the General Fund and won’t benefit schools. That’s true enough on its face, but ignores the reasoning why.

California’s laws are such that money that ends up in the General Fund is subject to the whims of the Legislature – that’s where you’d put money if you didn’t want to earmark where it goes. By placing the taxes in a special Marijuana Fund, Prop 64 can dictate exactly where the money goes.

Indeed, K-12 public schools will not directly benefit from the Marijuana Fund. But that doesn’t turn it into the “Governor’s Slush Fund”. Instead, taxes must first pay the costs of administration[55]. Then Prop 64 allocates millions for university research of marijuana and policy[56], law enforcement research on marijuana-impaired driving[57], local health departments and non-profit community services[58], and medical marijuana research[59]. Whatever remains after earmarks is divided 60 percent to youth drug prevention programs[60], 20 percent to clean up the environment from illegal cannabis grows[61], and 20 percent to law enforcement[62].

Some people object to funding law enforcement with marijuana revenues. But if the cops liked that money more than what they’ll be losing in federal drug war grants, asset forfeitures, and bail, fees, fines, penalties, and restitution funds, would they all be lining up to vote no on Prop 64?

MYTH #9:

“PROP 64’S DEFEAT WILL SEND A MESSAGE THAT PEOPLE WANT TRUE LEGALIZATION™!”

FACT: PROP 64’S DEFEAT WOULD SET BACK REFORM GLOBALLY, DENY CALIFORNIA LEGALIZATION UNTIL AT LEAST 2020

Many of the pot-smoking opponents of Prop 64 believe that other initiatives that failed to make the ballot, like CCHI or MCLR, are superior to Prop 64 and we should wait for the next opportunity to pass one of those, because the people are warming to legalization and will see the wisdom in those proposals.

They’re operating from the presumption that the public is just like us and wants marijuana legalized because it’s the right thing to do. The public, however, is not like us and is only recently warming to legalization because they find prohibition is wasteful and doesn’t work and legalization brings in revenue without raising their own taxes.

Initiatives, especially in California, requires millions of dollars and thousands of signatures. In the entire medical marijuana era, only two legalization initiatives have made the California ballot, both largely because a wealthy person donated millions of dollars to make it happen. The proponents of CCHI and MCLR have run their campaign almost every election cycle since Prop 215 passed. They have never gathered half the signatures or secured any significant funding.

It’s highly unlikely that following a second-straight electoral defeat for limited marijuana legalization, big funders are going to double down on Sean Parker’s losing bet in a non-presidential election with lower, more conservative turnout. So it’s 2020 before the next shot at legalizing California will be mounted, and the people with the money and connections to do it aren’t going to think their last attempt was too conservative.

MYTH #10:

“NOBODY REALLY GOES TO PRISON IN CALIFORNIA FOR POT! WE CAN WAIT!”

FACT: PROP 64 RETROACTIVELY REDUCES PENALTIES, FREES PRISONERS, EXPUNGES RECORDS

Of all the myths propagated by the pot-smoking opponents of legalization, none is more odious than one they’ve stolen from the nation’s leading prohibitionist, Kevin Sabet, who is fond of telling audiences that legalization is unnecessary, because what it legalizes are amounts of marijuana that people don’t really go to prison for anyway. The California prohibition apologists also throw in that personal possession is just a ticket and Prop 47 de-felonized many marijuana crimes.

But California still charges over 8,000 people a year for marijuana felonies. California currently has prisoners serving time or still “on papers” (parole or probation) for their marijuana misdemeanors and felonies. Many Californians who’ve finished their sentences still have the “scarlet letter” of being a drug criminal on their permanent record that thwarts their opportunities for housing, education, and employment.

Prop 64 applies all its new penalty reductions and legalizations retroactively on the day it is passed. Convicts serving up to four years for their sales or cultivation felony would now have their record reduced to six-month misdemeanors or, in the case of a half-dozen or fewer plants, cleared of any wrongdoing whatsoever[63]. Not only does Prop 64 then lead to early release of pot POWs, they can then petition to have their records sealed[64], and if not, the state automatically expunges their records of possession and joint-passing violations after two years anyway[65] – removing the “scarlet letter”.

If you could tell a child his parent needs to stay in prison up to three years longer than necessary because you think Prop 64’s flawed and there might be better legalization in four years, well, I guess you’re the kind of person who’ll join cops in voting to maintain their power to put as many people as possible in prison for marijuana.

Don’t believe the paranoid scare mongering – Legalization always beats Prohibition, and California Legalization is our ace card to beat Federal Prohibition. Vote Yes on Prop 64 and send this article to your California friends who are falling for the Chicken Little arguments of prohibition profiteers who support the status quo where marijuana is just illegal enough to charge your $300 an ounce for it, but just legal enough for them to avoid raids and prison. Don’t help the cops keep ticketing, arresting, and imprisoning us over cannabis!

Footnotes below.

– – – –

Part one of Russ Bellville’s Top Ten Myths About Prop 64.

Read all of HIGH TIMES’ election coverage here.

Read all of HIGH TIMES’ coverage of the Prop 64 battle in California here.

And check out: 

The Mother of All Marijuana Votes! The Ultimate High Times Election Guide

Election 2016: Can Marijuana Sweep in All Nine States?

 

[38] §11357(b)(2) Persons 18 years of age or over who possess more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, or more than four grams of concentrated cannabis, or both, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment.

[39] §11360(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section or as authorized by law, every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport any marijuana shall be punished as follows: (2) Persons 18 years of age or over shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment.

[40] §11360(b) Except as authorized by law, every person who gives away, offers to give away, transports, offers to transport, or attempts to transport not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, is guilty of an infraction and shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100).

[41] §11362.3(a) Nothing in Section 11362.1. [Personal Possession & Cultivation] shall be construed to permit any person to: (2) Smoke marijuana or marijuana products in a location where smoking tobacco is prohibited. §11362.4 (b) A person who engages in the conduct described in paragraphs (2) through (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 11362.3. [Personal Use Restrictions] shall be guilty of an infraction punishable by no more than a two hundred and fifty dollar ($250) fine

[42] §11362(a) Nothing in Section 11362.1. [Personal Possession & Cultivation] shall be construed to permit any person to: (4) Possess an open container or open package of marijuana or marijuana products while driving, operating, or riding in the passenger seat or compartment of a motor vehicle, boat, vessel, aircraft, or other vehicle used for transportation.

[43] §11362(a) Nothing in Section 11362.1. [Personal Possession & Cultivation] shall be construed to permit any person to: (8) Smoke or ingest marijuana or marijuana products while riding in the passenger seat or compartment of a motor vehicle, boat, vessel, aircraft, or other vehicle used for transportation…

[44] §26038(a) A person engaging in commercial marijuana activity without a license required by this division shall be subject to civil penalties of up to three times the amount of the license fee for each violation…

[45] Current H&SC §11357 “Possession of up to and including 28.5 grams of marijuana is an infraction punishable by a fine of $100. Possession of more than 28.5 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months’ imprisonment and/or a fine up to $500. If the amount possessed is 28.5 grams or less but the person is 18 years of age or older and the possession occurred on school grounds, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 10 days’ imprisonment and/or a fine up to $500. If the offender was younger than 18 years of age, then the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $250 for the first offense and a fine up to $500 or commitment to a detention center for up to 10 days.” [Source: NORML]

[46] §11357(a) Except as authorized by law, possession of not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, or not more than four grams of concentrated cannabis, or both, shall be punished or adjudicated as follows: (1) Persons under the age of 18 shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be required to [complete drug education and community service] (b) Except as authorized by law, every person who possession of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, or more than four grams of other than concentrated cannabis, shall be punished as follows: (1) Persons under the age of 18 who possess more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or more than four grams of concentrated cannabis, or both, shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be required to [complete drug education and community service]

[47] §11358 Every person who plants, cultivates, harvests, dries, or processes marijuana plants, or any part thereof, except as otherwise provided by law, shall be punished as follows: (a) Every person under the age of 18 who plants who plants, cultivates, harvests, dries, or processes any marijuana plants shall be punished in the same manner provided in paragraph (1) of subdivision of section 11357. Possession.

[48] §11359 Every person who possesses for sale any marijuana, except as otherwise provided by law, shall be punished as follows: (a) Every person under the age of 18 who possesses marijuana for sale shall be punished in the same manner provided in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of section 11357. Possession.

[49] §11360(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section or as authorized by law, every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport any marijuana shall be punished as follows: (1) Persons under the age of 18 years shall be punished in the same manner as provided in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of section 11357. Possession.

[50] §11357(a)(2) Persons at least 18 years of age but less than 21 years of age [who possess less than 28.5 grams of marijuana or less than 4 grams of concentrate] shall be guilty of an infraction and punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100). [Note: same penalty as now.]

[51] §11357(b)(2) Persons 18 years of age or over who possess more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, or more than four grams of concentrated cannabis, or both, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment. [Note: same punishment for flower, but half the jail time for concentrate, as now.]

[52] §11359(b) Every person 18 years of age or over who possesses marijuana for sale shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment. [Note: this reduces a felony to a misdemeanor.]

[53] §11360(2) Persons 18 years of age or over [who illegally transport or gift marijuana] shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment. [Note: this reduces a felony to a misdemeanor.]

[54] §34019(f)(3) Twenty percent (20%) [of revenue remaining after costs and earmarks] shall be deposited into the State and Local Government Law Enforcement Account and disbursed by the Controller as follows: (A) To the Department of the California Highway Patrol for conducting training programs for detecting, testing and enforcing laws against driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs… (C) To the Board of State and Community Corrections for making grants to local governments to assist with law enforcement, fire protection, or other local programs addressing public health and safety associated with the implementation of the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act….

[55] §34019(a) Before any funds are disbursed pursuant to subdivisions (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this section the Controller shall disburse from the Tax Fund to the appropriate account, without regard to fiscal year, the following: (1) Reasonable costs incurred…

[56] §34019(b) The Controller shall next disburse the sum of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) to a public university or universities in California annually beginning with fiscal year 2018-2019 until fiscal year 2028-2029 to research and evaluate the implementation and effect of the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act…

[57] §34019(c) The Controller shall next disburse the sum of three million dollars ($3,000,000) annually to the Department of the California Highway Patrol beginning fiscal year 2018-2019 until fiscal year 2022-2023 to establish and adopt protocols to determine whether a driver is operating a vehicle while impaired, including impairment by the use of marijuana or marijuana products, and to establish and adopt protocols setting forth best practices to assist law enforcement agencies….

[58] §34019(d) The Controller shall next disburse the sum of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) beginning fiscal year 2018-2019 and increasing ten million dollars ($10,000,000) each fiscal year thereafter until fiscal year 2022-2023, at which time the disbursement shall be fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) each year thereafter, to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, in consultation with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the Department of Social Services, to administer a Community Reinvestments grants program to local health departments and at least fifty-percent to qualified community-based nonprofit organizations…

[59] §34019(e) The Controller shall next disburse the sum of two million dollars ($2,000,000) annually to the University of California San Diego Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research…

[60] §34019(f)(1) Sixty percent (60%) shall be deposited in the Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account, and disbursed by the Controller to the Department of Health Care Services for programs for youth that are designed to educate about and to prevent substance use disorders and to prevent harm from substance use….

[61] §34019(f)(2) Twenty percent (20%) shall be deposited in the Environmental Restoration and Protection Account, and disbursed by the Controller as follows: (A) To the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Parks and Recreation for the cleanup, remediation, and restoration of environmental damage in watersheds affected by marijuana cultivation and related activities… (B) …and to facilitate the investigation, enforcement and prosecution of illegal cultivation, production, sale, and use of marijuana or marijuana products on public lands… (C) …and to ensure the reduction of adverse impacts of marijuana cultivation, production, sale, and use on fish and wildlife habitats throughout the state…

[62] §34019(f)(3) Twenty percent (20%) shall be deposited into the State and Local Government Law Enforcement Account and disbursed by the Controller as follows: (A) To the Department of the California Highway Patrol for conducting training programs for detecting, testing and enforcing laws against driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, including driving under the influence of marijuana… (B) … education, prevention and enforcement of laws related to driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, including marijuana… (C) To the Board of State and Community Corrections for making grants to local governments to assist with law enforcement, fire protection, or other local programs addressing public health and safety associated with the implementation of the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act….

[63] §11361.8(a) A person currently serving a sentence for a conviction, whether by trial or by open or negotiated plea, who would not have been guilty of an offense or who would have been guilty of a lesser offense under the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act had that Act been in effect at the time of the offense may petition for a recall or dismissal of sentence before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction in his or her case to request resentencing or dismissal…

[64] §11361.8(e) A person who has completed his or her sentence for a conviction under Sections 11357. Possession, 11358. Planting, harvesting, or processing, 11359. Possession for sale, 11360. Unlawful transportation, importation, sale, or gift, whether by trial or open or negotiated plea, who would not have been guilty of an offense or who would have been guilty of a lesser offense under the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act had that Act been in effect at the time of the offense, may file an application before the trial court that entered, the judgment of conviction in his or her case to have the conviction dismissed and sealed…

[65] §11361.5(a) Records of any court of this state, any public or private agency that provides services upon referral under Section 1000.2 of the Penal Code, or of any state agency pertaining to the arrest or conviction of any person for a violation of Section 11357. Possession or subdivision (b) of Section 11360. Unlawful transportation, importation, sale, or gift, or pertaining to the arrest or conviction of any person under the age of 18 for a violation of any provision of this article except Section 11357.5, shall not be kept beyond two years from the date of the conviction, or from the date of the arrest if there was no conviction…

Total
0
Shares
28 comments
  1. Control, Regulate and Tax the adult use of Cannabis, does that sound anything like “Legalize” to you? While small reductions in sentencing is part of this proposition, they are already in the pipes through legislative treatment, so why entrench the absurd one ounce, 5 plant, only grown indoors limits on ordinary pot smoking adults in the form of this oppressive ballot initiative?

    1. “Already in the pipes through legislative treatment”?! Seriously?!

      Name one state Senate or Assembly bill–just one–currently active or under consideration in Sacramento that will reduce either the sentencing or penalties for any cannabis offense now the books.

      You tools for the cops and corporate prisons are getting so desperate you’re just making up whatever s*** you can think of, and throwing it at the wall, hoping something will stick; and given you’re almost thirty points down and falling further behind with less than a month to go, it doesn’t look like any of your s*** is sticking, does it?

      1. Lets see, who’s resorting to childish name calling? Symptomatic of shills for a popular opinion, a shill for the green washing of the new pot business propagandists. You want reduced prison sentences tell your elected officials and your friends and neighbors early and often, don’t vote for a thin whisp of so called “legalization”, a measure that actually ensconces strict prohibitionesque control over pot, (only can grow plants indoors? Seriously? And only 5 plants? When can I be legal?) barely can call it reform over our current shifting legal standing. Prohibition has to end, but this measure don’t end it, it re-affirms it, Prohibition has never worked, ever.

        1. Soooo that’s no–zero, zip, nada–“legislative treatments” (?!) you’ve got for us, right? Really did just pull that one of of your a**, is that about it?

          Reason we ask is, that’s how it always is; you “activists”–there, feel better now?–never seem to be able to back up your wack claims; instead, like you just did, your response to any challenge of your statements is throwing even more s*** at the wall … Still not sticking!

          Oh, and it’s six plants, not five; funny, would have thought such an authority on the initiative would have something as basic as that straight, at least; you did read all sixty-two–not “67”– pages, didn’t you … ?

    2. Today, 1 oz gets me a $100 ticket and 1 plant gets me a felony. That’s far more oppressive than allowing me a legal ounce, 6 indoor plants, and all the weed I can harvest from them.

      Today, a CHP who claims in a traffic stop that I smell like weed, or has a K9 alert on my car, can order me out of the car and begin rifling through my stuff. That’s far more oppressive than the cop who smells weed and can’t do shit about it, who lost his pot sniffing K9 to retirement.

      Today, pot POWs are sitting in California prisons, with another six months to four years to serve. That’s far more oppressive than releasing many of them early and expunging their records.

      I’ve been digesting so much of this Prop 64 hate, and it seems to be a proxy for:
      Hate Monsanto
      Hate Sean Parker
      Hate taxation
      Hate regulation
      Hate falling weed prices
      Hate capitalism
      Hate competition
      Hate that my initiative failed
      Hate that nobody asked community
      Hate politicians
      Hate government
      Hate George Soros
      Hate change

      I don’t know what would have to be written to quell those fears. The other initiatives they supported would’ve opened up cannabis much more to corporate control and MCRSA would still exist.

  2. Thank you for spreading the truth, Russ! It’s been difficult to use social media as of late due to all the Prop 64 haters/misinformation spreaders. Keep up the great work, the world is watching California in hopes of 64 passing.

    1. The truth:

      Prop 64 §11362.3.
      (a) Nothing in Section 11362.1 shall be construed to permit any person to:
      (1) Smoke or ingest marijuana or marijuana products in any public place, except in accordance
      with Section 26200 of the Business and Professions Code.

      (I haven’t got past the whopper about smoking yet, I’m sure there’s more to come.)

      1. So first, no legal state allows for public marijuana smoking.

        Second, California’s anti-tobacco smoking laws are some of the strictest in the nation.

        Third, 26200 gives you the pot lounges to smoke in that aren’t legal in the legal states yet.

        Fourth, toking your marijuana in public isn’t legal NOW, because that’s possession, and that’s a $100 ticket. So when possession becomes legal, creating a no-public toking penalty merely maintains the status quo (though, I grant the no-public toking in no-smoking zone rises from $100 to $250).

        Fifth… really? It’s always like this. Every election, every state, there’s somebody who combs through the measure to find some “OMG I can’t smoke my pot in the moving car while I’m driving and then later stand on a crowded sidewalk and blaze up in people’s faces, or I’ll get a ticket, so this isn’t True Legalization™ and must be rejected!” in it.

        You DO know that most of us in this nation who smoke pot are hiding in alleyways, garages, and bedrooms, dousing ourselves with Binaca, Visine, and hand sanitizer, and praying we didn’t miss a stray crumb that would set into motion questions and searches and warrants and handcuffs and prison time.. don’t you?

  3. 64 will overturn 215 a feat the crooks in Sacramento are by law banned from doing.

    It’s no myth read the 67 pages if you’re 18-21 you’re banned from use and the penalty is in fact 6 months in jail. There are countless other jailable offenses. The regulatory scheme will put 99% of those in the industry now out of business. The industry will be taken over by those able to hire teams of lawyers and accountants and pay the gov bribes

    64 is not legalization -It’s corporatization -Russ is not being honest -pretty typical of the corporatist media..

    absolutely no on 64!!

    1. “Not being honest”, says the guy posting under different names on the same forum; “pretty typical” of stooges for prohibition … !

    2. Debunked the overturned Prop 215 one, too.

      Prop 215 guarantees patients can possess, cultivate, and transport marijuana.

      Prop 64 affirms its limits do not apply to Prop 215 patients.

      But if you can cite the paragraph in Prop 64 that repeals Prop 215, I’ll issue a correction.

  4. Oh and I hate to tell ya, in Denver Colorado good and “legal” pot, sold similar to what prop 64 would regulate pot like, pot still costs $300.00 an ounce in the store, crazy security requirements and lucrative taxation levels will ensure illegal sources of pot continue to thrive in expensive prohibitionesque regulatory framework established by prop 64

    1. Make up your mind; is it “Rick”, or “robert hastings”?! What, did you really think posting under different names would make people think that the handful of weed dealers siding with the cops, corporate prisons and rehab to keep busting people–disproportionally black and brown, which you’re not, right?–just so they can hold on to their de facto monopoly is a slightly larger handful?! X-D

  5. Russ, I appreciate your analysis, and clearly, Prop 64 would do some valuable things, but there is still a lot unsaid. The state is in the process of improving regulations, with input from
    industry, and an awareness that supporting small business is key. Several bills have been written this year to improve MCRSA, and 2 passed. More will next year, and with the drive toward Adult Use, the state may well implement on its own.

    Prop 64 makes many claims, but deeper reading disproves most of them.
    While the state may alter the section which allows the small business killer of unlimited licensing and vertical integration, they can’t reverse the continued penalization and wasteful tax structure. Those create plenty of opportunity for arrest, and a huge tax fund with no benefit for Californians. Colorado gives $40M to schools, Prop 64 gives $2M for research. That is appalling! The huge amount given to drug prevention programs, when DARE has been unfunded for its complete failure, will likely be a huge waste. That money should be going to build schools that give kids something more to do than get high. And the rest going to enforcement guarantees that 1000s will still be arrested and criminalized for a plant. Although the penalty for Possession for Sale is reduced, it could also be prosecuted as Unlicensed Commercial Activity, with tremendous fines. Those fines will force land forfeiture for unlicensed growers, possibly for those who have over 6 plants. At the same time, the retail tax structure will promote the black market, so that won’t be going away either. There is nothing in Prop 64 to improve access, and with so many regions banning, unlicensed activities, with huge potential fines, will be ongoing throughout the state. This is not even to start with the drafting and funding, or political alliance that got this on the ballot under the desirable term “legalization” when it was written as Control, Tax, and Regulate, with no input from the producing community.

    With the Open Container law, denial of employment rights, and lack of parental protections, there is just too much that needs changing, which can’t be changed.

    75 bucks to maintain your medical, until the state makes the right move, is a small price to pay.
    For 10 detailed code by code analyses, go here. http://www.facebook.com/StopProp64

    1. “The huge amount given to drug prevention programs….”
      —–
      Full employment for 12-step faith healers! Funding for an army of puritan prohibitionists!

      Paid for by taxes on medicine for the sick and dying!

      1. Once again, on the high horse, with the human shield of “the sick and dying” to lionize the continuation of prohibition for the consumers and profits for the growers and sellers.

        Those taxes on “the sick and dying” will also be paid by the 20-year-old guys in San Bernardino at the NOS Center who came for the 1 gram dabs and the rap show.

        So if you want to cloak yourself with the mantle of My God Won’t Somebody Think Of The Patients!, you need to start separating the wheat from the chaff. The only reason you’re getting a 15% + $9.25 tax the sick and dying have to pay is because anybody can pay a quack $75 (see above) to be declared “sick and dying”.

    2. Thanks for your reply. Could you elaborate on why “they can’t reverse the continued penalization and wasteful tax structure”?

      Because I see this:

      §34019. [Distribution of Tax Revenue]
      (h) Effective July 1, 2028, the Legislature may amend this section by majority vote to further the purposes of the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, including allocating funds to programs other than those specified in subdivisions (d) and (f) of this section. Any revisions pursuant to this subdivision shall not result in a reduction of funds to accounts established pursuant to subdivisions (d) and (f) in any subsequent year from the amount allocated to each account in fiscal year 2027-2028. Prior to July 1, 2028, the Legislature may not change the allocations to programs specified in subdivisions (d) and (f) of this section.

      That seems to say “After 7/1/28, a 50% legislative vote can move the money around, except for (d)’s $10-$50M for the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and (f)’s 60% / 20% / 20% of the remaining funds, which must remain at least at their FY 27-28 levels. Assuming revenues will increase, you could conceivably keep FY 27-28 funding while sending addition revenues toward whatever 50% of the legislature wants.

      Shorter: after ten years, they can move some of the money, but yeah, we’re stuck with (d) and (f).

      But are we? Because there’s this:

      SECTION 10. AMENDMENT.
      This Act shall be broadly construed to accomplish its purposes and intent as stated in Section 3 PURPOSE AND INTENT. The Legislature may by majority vote amend the provisions of this Act contained in Sections 5 USE OF MARIJUANA FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES. and 6 MARIJUANA REGULATION AND SAFETY. to implement the substantive provisions of those sections, provided that such amendments are consistent with and further the purposes and intent of this Act as stated in Section 3 PURPOSE AND INTENT. Amendments to this Act that enact protections for employees and other workers of licensees under Section 6 of this Act that are in addition to the protections provided for in this Act or that otherwise expand the legal rights of such employees or workers of licensees under Section 6 of this Act shall be deemed to be consistent with and further the purposes and intent of this Act. The Legislature may by majority vote amend, add, or repeal any provisions to further reduce the penalties for any of the offenses addressed by this Act. Except as otherwise provided, the provisions of the Act may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to further the purposes and intent of the Act.

      Which seems to say you can change:
      Section 5 w/ 50%
      Section 6 w/ 50% (incl. employee protections)
      Reducing any penalties w/ 50% (or increase limits, since that technically reduces a penalty… wouldn’t that “reverse the continued penalization”?)
      Everything else, unless it says somewhere else you can’t, w/67%

      So while §34019(h) says they can’t reduce what’s spent in (d) and (f), wouldn’t SECTION 10 give them the power with a 67% vote to re-write §34019(h) itself?

      So, does it say somewhere else in Prop 64 of California Law that we can’t use SECTION 10 with a 67% vote to amend §34011 and §34012?

      This fear about money going to enforcement – first, the money for the costs of regulation, then to studying DUID, and a whole bunch of community programs, as well as to CHP. We hate cops because we’ve been on the wrong side of the law, but voters out there really like cops. Once we’re on the right side of the law, there are fewer arrests, charges, and convictions – this is not up for debate; it’s the settled fact based on the experience of three other legal states over the past four years already!

      “Promote the black market…” News flash: there is a black market in Tide Detergent, video game discs, knock-off Prada bags, and cigarettes – all legal. You’re waving the same flag Kevin Sabet waves to scare people — BLACK MARKET! Again, settled fact: legalization reduces marijuana prices, even with added taxes. I laugh when Californians with their $16-$20 storefront grams try to frighten voters with price scares. “No input from the producing community” sounds to me like a prohibition profiteer worried about the plunging wholesale price of a pound.

      “With the Open Container law, denial of employment rights, and lack of parental protections…” You’d keep pot POWs in prison one second longer because you want to hot box a car? News flash: you have no employment rights and parental protections NOW.. except Prop 64 would at least protect medical marijuana parents’ rights.

      “75 bucks to maintain your medical, until the state makes the right move, is a small price to pay.” Oh, so YOU will be getting parental rights protections! But the rest of us are tired of medical marijuana holding us hostage until the pristine perfect True Legalization™ comes along, demanding its $75 protection money for the permission to do what people in four states do for free. We’re tired of $300 ounces propped up by the Dealer Risk Tax by prohibition profiteers who know capitalized competition eventually drops that price to $300 a pound… retail!

      Sorry if you built your economic survival on a model that depends on a spectrum of consumer misery, from harassment to death, to maintain your artificially high profit margins. For six years, Californians unlucky enough to forget or fail to have a recommendation have been ticketed, harassed, searched, fined, arrested, and incarcerated, because Prop 19 wasn’t True Legalization™. Don’t count on there being another decent attempt at legalization until 2020, at best. It’s not like billionaires just throw $8 million at everything that’s proposed.

  6. Why did you omit §11362.3 (a) (1) in your ‘analysis’, and in your footnote [41]?

    Prop 64 §11362.3.
    (a) Nothing in Section 11362.1 shall be construed to permit any person to:
    (1) Smoke or ingest marijuana or marijuana products in any public place, except in accordance
    with Section 26200 of the Business and Professions Code.

    1. Because §11362.3(a)(1) doesn’t create a new penalty. If I am caught smoking a joint in public today, I get a $100 infraction ticket based on the possession of the joint. Under Prop 64, I get a $100 infraction ticket based on the public toking.

      But I’ll tell the guys serving another two or three years on a cultivation felony that their shot at early release and expungement of their records isn’t really worth it, because a guy who’s been protected from arrest because he paid for a doctor’s permission slip would really like to smoke weed on the sidewalk in people’s faces without getting a ticket.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts
Read More

Cannabis Christmas Carols

Marijuana needs its own collection of special songs. What’s more, you can sing these carols all year long!…