While there has been no shortage of initiatives aimed at legalizing a full-scale recreational pot market next year in California, it appears the rumors circulating throughout the weed scene are true: Sean Parker, the 35-year-old entrepreneur, is set to reveal the details of a ballot measure that he intends to sink millions of dollars into to ensure prohibition in the Golden State meet its demise in the 2016 election.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Parker will officially reveal the scope of his “Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act” sometime on Monday. The reality of this initiative comes after it was reported earlier last month that Parker was working with consultants to draft the language of a major push to legalize a California cannabis industry in the next presidential election. However, it seems, in doing so, supporters of what was called “the most anticipated initiative in California” have jumped ship on the proposal submitted last month by ReformCA to get onboard with Parker’s effort.
State chapters of the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project have allegedly have pulled funding from the ReformCA proposal in order to put it towards helping Parker get his initiative pushed through. Parker has also received funding from a number of influential business owners, including Nick and Joby Pritzker of Hyatt Hotels and WeedMaps founder Justin Hartfield. There is speculation that these investors have already kicked in millions of dollars to see that weed is legalized in 2016.
However, there is a great deal of concern that all of the noise surrounding California’s cornucopia of cannabis initiatives will confuse voters and prevent any of them from being successful. It is for that reason that Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, who was reportedly involved in the Parker proposal, may step in the see that the ReformCA folks and Parker’s tribe join forces in some fashion to work towards putting a single, powerful proposal on the ballot next year that will be recognized by the voting majority.
The Chronicle suggests that a summary of the initiative that they obtained from a source close to proposal is right in line with a recent report commissioned by Newsom.
The proposal would establish a retail cannabis trade that would impose a 15 percent excise tax on both recreational and medical marijuana. However, medical marijuana would be except from the state sales tax. Residents would be permitted to grow up to six plants for personal use as long as the cultivation area remains “out of public view and secure from children.” However, the proposal would give local governments the right to ban outdoor grow operations and allow employers to enforce rules against the use of recreational marijuana.
For those who have been convicted of marijuana-related crimes, the initiative provides them with the ability to petition the courts for record expungement.
All of the taxes collected from pot sales would be put into the California Marijuana Tax Fund, which would distribute $10 million every year until 2028 to study the effects of legalization. It would also provide the California Highway Patrol with $3 million annually to develop methods for policing stoned driving. The rest of the money would be used to pay for law enforcement, drug treatment & education, and environmental concerns.
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