The election is finally behind us, which means this month’s round-up is focused on one major victory for the cannabis movement: full legalization in our home state of California! Find out more about some of the only good news brought by this election – the cannabis-related news.
California, Proposition 64, “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” – Passed!
You can read the full 60+ pages of Prop 64 online, but we’ll go over a few key points.
The measure passed with 56% approval, allowing adults over the age of 21 to possess limited amounts of cannabis for personal use. Specifically, the measure allows for cultivation of up to six plants in private homes (but the plants have to be shielded from public view) and possession of up to one ounce of flowers or eight grams of concentrate on one’s person.
Businesses won’t actually be able to sell recreational cannabis until licenses are issued, a process which will take at least two years; the deadline for the state to start issuing licenses is January 1st, 2018.
California is now the fifth state to officially legalize cannabis; since it has such a huge economy and population, the victory is absolutely immense to cannabis proponents. Lauren Mendelsohn, chairwoman of the board of directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, described it as a “major” victory, telling the New York Times, “It shows the whole country that prohibition is not the answer to the marijuana question.” Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor of the state, hopes to coordinate and collaborate on the cannabis issue with other sister-recreational-states, including putting pressure on the federal government to lessen their restrictive rulings.
Additional tax revenue of around $1 billion is expected to roll in from sales of recreational cannabis. This money is poised to go toward the study of medicinal cannabis, development of procedures to determine driver impairment due to cannabis use by the California Highway Patrol, youth education on drugs, and preventing damage to the environment caused by cannabis production – among other initiatives.
Here’s what was at stake – followed by the results – in every other state this year:
Nevada, Question 2, “Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana” – Passed!
Allows possession of up to an ounce and the growth of up to six plants in the home for anyone who does not live within 25 miles of a marijuana retail store.
Massachusetts, Question 4, “Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act” – Passed!
Allows possession of up to an ounce and six plants, with a 3.75 percent excise tax toward regulations and the state’s general fund.
Maine, Question 1, “Marijuana Legalization Act” – Passed!
Allows possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, six flowering plants, and 12 nonflowering plants in the home.
Arizona, Proposition 205, “Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act” – Rejected.
Would have allowed for an ounce of possession and up to six plants at home, with money sent to school construction, kindergarten programs and public drug education.
Montana, I-182, “Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative” – Passed!
Medical marijuana was already legal, but the new initiative allows for no limit to the number of patients that caregivers can have, as well as adding PTSD to the list of eligible conditions.
North Dakota, Measure 5, “North Dakota Compassionate Care Act” – Passed!
Allows possession of up to 3 ounces of medical marijuana for treatment of up to nearly a dozen medical conditions; distribution facilities will be licensed by the state Health Department and operated by nonprofits.
Arkansas, “Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act” & “Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment” – Passed!
Allows cannabis access to people who have any of 18 qualifying conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease and hepatitis C.
Florida, Amendment 2, “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Conditions” – Passed!
Allows cannabis access to people with illnesses who are in the same class or comparable to illnesses such as cancer, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
In other words – everything with the exception of full legalization in Arizona (sorry, guys) passed! This means that cannabis is now legal, whether for recreational or medicinal purposes, in a record 29 states! With all this cannabis regulation upheaval, there is sure to be much, much more news to follow in the coming months; we’ll see you again in December as we follow along with how all these new initiatives will start to shake out!