Proposition 64, legalized possession of recreational marijuana in California as of November 9, 2016. Marijuana has been used for centuries for recreational and medicinal purposes. Keeping in mind the many advantages of the plant, people have been protesting for decades to make the marijuana legal all over the US. In cities like Boston, a freedom rally takes place every year in September where thousands of people come out to peacefully protest.
In the November elections of 2016, as the citizens of the United States voted for their next president, three states also successfully passed recreational marijuana laws. California, Nevada and Massachusetts became the next three states to make marijuana recreationally legal for adults age 21 and over. In California, 56.75% people voted in the favor of legalization, passing the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” (AUMA) of 2016.
Here are some of the highlights of the proposition:
- Adults age 21 and can possess, transport and give away up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana.
- Although it is allowed to carry marijuana in public, using the drug in public remains strictly prohibited. Driving under the influence of the drug is still illegal and punishable.
- People cannot smoke a joint in public places, especially near schools, day cares and hospitals. Carrying the drug near these sensitive areas is also not allowed. Children and teenagers are to be kept away from the drug hence the public endorsement of the drug is also banned.
- People can grow up to 6 plants of cannabis in their private property. However, these plants must be kept out of the public sight. Growing the plants in federal areas in still banned.
- For selling marijuana, the businesses need to obtain state license. However, the government will not provide license to large scale businesses for 5 years in order to prevent the monopoly of power. The local governments may also acquire the state license. Although marijuana could be sold, any distribution of the drug near schools, day cares and youth centers is banned.
- The Bureau of Marijuana Control will be responsible for regulating the use of the drug and for issuing licenses. The local government, counties and municipalities may ban the use of marijuana in their jurisdiction.
- According to the proposition two excise taxes will be imposed on the drug. One is for cultivation i.e. $9.25 per ounce of flowers and the other will be on the retail price of weed i.e. 15%. In 2020 the taxes will be adjusted as per the inflation.
- The proposition has also clarified the penalties that will be imposed on people using or selling the drug unlawfully. People using the drugs under the age of 18 will have to attend a counseling program and receive drug education. If someone is found selling the drug without a license, that person may serve up to 6 months on jail or pay a $500 fine.
- After legalization of the drug, people who are already serving in jail due to marijuana related activities may become applicable for resentencing.
With the passage of the AUMA, there will be an increase in indoor cultivation of cannabis. It is now legal for Californians to grow up to 6 plants in their homes. With this, the sales indoor gardening products, such as G8 LED grow lights will increase. The passage of proposition AUMA will be a boon for the indoor gardening industry among several other related industries.