Prop 64: Everything You Need to Know About California’s Upcoming Marijuana Initiative

Ah, it’s that time of the year again: election season. Sure, it might seem as though the presidential race has gone off the rails recently, but in honor of tonight’s highly (mildly? Somewhat?) anticipated debate, we felt it would be appropriate to talk about one of the most important ballot measures facing us at Reefer and you as California medical patients: Proposition 64.

That’s right. The California Marijuana Legalization Initiative aka the Adult Use of Marijuana Act is slated to be on the ballet this November, and we thought it would be useful to inform you as voters about the background surrounding the measure and the implications it will have should it be passed into law.

First, here’s a high-level look at the current state of cannabis law in California:

-Possession and use of marijuana recreationally is illegal, and it has been since, well, forever (or as long as you and I can remember).

-Medical marijuana, on the other hand, has been legal in California since 1996 with the passage of Prop 215.

-As we all know, marijuana (both recreational and medical) remains illegal on a federal level.

So what would the passage of prop 64 (a ‘yes’ vote) do?

-The Adult Use of Marijuana Act would change the CA state law to make recreational marijuana legal alongside its medical counterpart.

-This means that if you are an adult of drinking age (21), it would be legal for you to possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes.

-Two new taxes would fall in place: one on cultivation, the other on retail sales. All of these taxes would be spent on research, treatment, and enforcement, among other measures to benefit and inform the public.

What are the odds this law goes through?

-Prop 64 is currently polling at around 51% support and 40% opposition (with 8% undecided & 1% not planning to vote on the measure).

-As of today, the campaign for yes on 64 has raised over $18 million, compared to just $2 million for no on 64. The proposition has seen broad support from politicians and even some high-profile supporters (shout out to Sean Parker, who has contributed nearly half of the funds raised for Yes on 64).

Where would you be able to buy marijuana?

-If you are over 21, you would be able to purchase from stores that have acquired a state license. It’s also possible that stores will be required to obtain a local license in addition to the state one. In a sense it is similar to liquor retailers.

-The measure also prevents large-scale marijuana businesses from obtaining licenses for five years, so most of the retailers would be rather small or local.

Where could you smoke?

-Marijuana consumption would only be permitted in a private home or a business with a government-issued license for on-site marijuana consumption.

-Basically, if you can’t drink or smoke tobacco somewhere, chances are you can’t consume cannabis there either.

-It would be legal to possess at most 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana.

Hopefully this gave you a basic understanding of the main changes proposed by prop 64. It has the potential to change the landscape of the marijuana industry in California, and we recommend you do some more research on the topic before Election Day comes around. If you plan on voting November 8th, you can check out some further information on the measure here, here, and here.