Don’t be fooled, this is still happening all over California, which is why you need to protect yourself and vote yes on Proposition 19.
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Proponents of California’s Regulate Control and Tax Cannabis 2010 Initiative (Prop. 19) claim it will have no effect on California’s medical marijuana laws, that it “explicitly upholds the rights of medical marijuana patients”.
The language of the initiative says otherwise.
Yesterday, Russ Belville stated in a comment to his blog in The Huffington Post that “Prop 19 does nothing to change Prop 215 or your access to your current dispensary.” Belville is NORML’s Outreach Coordinator and Host of NORML Show Live.
Meanwhile, in an article that is causing quite a stir among proponents of ending marijuana prohibition, Dragonfly De La Luz lists 18 reasons “Pro-Pot Activists” oppose Prop. 19.
Regarding whether or not Prop. 19 will amend or supersede California’s medical marijuana laws she had this to say:
While amendments were made ostensibly to prevent the initiative from affecting current medical marijuana law, a careful reading of the initiative reveals that this is not, in fact, the case. Certain medical marijuana laws are exempt from the prohibitions the initiative would enact, while others are glaringly absent.
Cultivation is one such law that is noticeably non-exempt. In spite of the fact that the tax cannabis Web site says otherwise, the only medical marijuana exemptions that the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative actually makes are with regard to possession, consumption and purchase limits, which only ensure that patients would still be allowed to buy medicine at dispensaries. The word “cultivate” is conspicuously absent. Whereas today a person with a doctor’s recommendation has the right to grow up to an unlimited number of plants, the initiative would drastically reduce that number to whatever can fit in a 5’x5’ footprint (around 3-6 plants—per property, not per person). This will force many patients to resort to buying instead of growing their own medicine, because of the inconvenience caused by producing multiple grows a year rather than growing a year’s supply of medicine at one time, as many patients currently do outdoors. And growing indoors—which typically requires special grow lights, an increase in hydro use, and a lot of time and attention—is a comparatively expensive endeavor.
The initiative would further impact medical marijuana patients by banning medicating in the privacy of their own homes if there are minors present, as well as in public (currently perfectly legal)—an invaluable liberty to those with painful diseases who would otherwise have to suffer until they got home to relieve their pain.
Finally, the medical marijuana laws that are exempted from this initiative apparently only apply to cities. For medical marijuana patients who live in an area that has county or local government jurisdiction, according to a strict reading of the initiative, medical marijuana laws are not exempt.
The amendments she refers to were made after Comparing California cannabis/marijuana legalization initiatives was published 31 Jul 09 in Examiner.com. This article noted that the proponents of Proposition 19 had manged to get through 14 drafts without exempting medical marijuana patients from any of its provisions: not the unlimited taxes & licensing fees, not the possession & cultivation limits, not the prohibition on smoking in public or in sight of anyone under 18.
The amendments consisted of adding the phrase “except as permitted under Health and Safety Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 through 11362.9” to the end of Items 7 & 8 under Purposes.
The initiative mentions medical marijuana three times and omits mentioning it once.
The three mentions are Items 6, 7, and 8 in Section 2, B. Purposes.
6. Provide easier, safer access for patients who need cannabis for medical purposes.
The courts will determine that this means Prop. 19 is intended to amend and supersede California’s medical marijuana laws; Proposition 215 (H&S 11362.5) and SB 420 (H&S 11362.7-H&S 11362.9).
7. Ensure that if a city decides not to tax and regulate the sale of cannabis, that buying and selling cannabis within that city’s limits remain illegal, but that the city’s citizens still have the right to possess and consume small amounts, except as permitted under Health and Safety Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 through 11362.9.
8. Ensure that if a city decides it does want to tax and regulate the buying and selling of cannabis (to and from adults only), that a strictly controlled legal system is implemented to oversee and regulate cultivation, distribution, and sales, and that the city will have control over how and how much cannabis can be bought and sold, except as permitted under Health and Safety Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 through 11362.9.
The first thing to note about these sections is that they are specific to cities. Nowhere does the word “county” appear.
In Item 7, “city” is specified 3 times, every way they know how: “if a city”, “that city’s limits”, “the city’s citizens”. The rule of thumb is if you say something three times you mean exactly what you said.
This item exempts medical marijuana patients only in cities, and only with regard to how much they may possess and consume. It makes it legal to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, collectives, and delivery services. Unless the city enacts a sin tax, any buying and selling will be illegal.
Section C, Intents, has two items.
Item 1 is a list of the laws Prop. 19 is “intended to limit the application and enforcement of”. The inclusion of the phrase “including but not limited to the following, whether now existing or adopted in the future” opens the door for the argument to be made that Prop. 19 may (and most likely will) be interpreted to “limit” the “application and enforcement” of the now existing medical marijuana laws.
This interpretation is reinforced by Item 2 under this section, a list of state laws Prop. 19 “is not intended to affect the application or enforcement of”.
Note that Item 2 is not open-ended. There is no “including but not limited to” modifier for this Item.
Conspicuously absent from either list are California’s medical marijuana laws: Health & Safety Code Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7-11362.9.
These mentions and omissions occur in the ‘preamble’ of the initiative, titled Findings, Intent and Purposes. Concerns have been expressed regarding how legally binding these sections are and that nowhere in the sections to be added to California’s legal code is there any mention of medical marijuana or any exemption for medical marijuana patients and providers.
Exploiting pain and suffering
Nowhere does the initiative exempt medical marijuana cultivators or distributors from the tax.
Proponents of Prop. 19 often argue that everything is taxed. This is not true. Illinois is the only state that taxes prescription pharmaceuticals, and that tax is 1%.
Proponents of Prop. 19 claim they want to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. It costs $450 to license a pharmacy in California and between $340-$580 to license a retail alcohol establishment. Long Beach claims 85 medical marijuana dispensaries and charges $14,742 for a license. Oakland has a limit of 4 dispensaries and charges them $30,000 for a license.
Proponents of Prop. 19 argue that it is illegal to consume alcohol in sight of anyone under 21 or in public. California is littered with sidewalk cafes and pizza parlors that serve beer, wine, and mixed drinks in public and in the sight of children.
To date the cities of Oakland (the home or Proposition 19), Sacramento (The State Capital), Long Beach, and Berkeley have announced proposals to tax medical marijuana in order to keep their medical marijuana dispensaries from being shut down should Proposition 19 pass.
The most liberal of these is Berkeley, where medical marijuana patients will pay 7.5% less tax than recreational users, and it will only cost them 2.5% more than the 9.75% in sales tax they’re already paying.
Sacramento is proposing a sin tax of between 5% and 10% for recreational users and 2% to 4% for the sick and dying. “We’re trying to get ahead of the process,” said councilmember Sandy Sheedy, who proposed the ordinance.
Medical marijuana patients use considerably more than recreational users. Irv Rosenfeld receives 11 ounces per month from the federal government. Maine recently determined that it’s medical marijuana patients would use 5 ounces per month, on average. The tax on medicine, besides being ethically inconsistent, falls most heavily on the sickest, who tend to be the poorest.
At $400 per ounce, a medical marijuana patient who needs 3 ounces a month will pay $138.60 tax per month in Oakland.
Meanwhile, no city or county in California has reversed itself on a ban or moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries since Oakland (home of Prop. 19) passed Measure F, the first medical marijuana tax.
Meanwhile, several cases are working through the courts challenging medical marijuana bans, moratoriums, and regulations which are de facto bans, as discriminatory and in violation of California’s medical marijuana laws. Passage of Prop 19 will remove any legal basis for these cases.
Taking the ‘medical’ out of ‘marijuana’
Prop. 19 adds five sections to California’s Health & Safety Code, §§ 11300-11304.
§11300 is titled Personal Regulation and Controls. Item a) begins with the phrase “Notwithstanding any other provision of law”.
This section makes possession of more than an ounce or by anyone under 21 illegal. It also limits non-licensed cultivation to 25 square feet per residence or parcel, not per person.
If the authors of Prop. 19 wanted to protect medical marijuana patients, why did they say “notwithstanding any other provision of law”?
§11301 is titled Commercial Regulations and Controls. It begins with the phrase “Notwithstanding any other provision of state or local law”. It prohibits sales to anyone under 21. Nowhere in this section is there any exemption for medical marijuana patients, cultivators, or distributors.
In addition to allowing cities and counties to ban commercial cultivation and sales (including medical marijuana collectives and dispensaries) it states the following:
(g) prohibit and punish through civil fines or other remedies the possession, sale, possession for sale, cultivation, processing, or transportation of cannabis that was not obtained lawfully from a person pursuant to this section or section 11300;
This means that the taxes and fees paid by the licensed commercial cultivators and distributors will be used to eliminate the competition. For example, Oakland (the home of Prop. 19) is in the process of licensing four cultivators to supply the approximately 6,000 pounds per year sold by the four licensed dispensaries. Bay Citizen put it this way:
Growing marijuana can be lucrative, but the city’s proposed new rules would eliminate small-timers. It would cost $5,000 just to apply for a cultivation permit, and a regulatory fee of $211,000 for the lucky winners. If one has the cash, it’s a small price to pay for the right to produce a crop with an estimated retail value of $7 million. The fee pays for regulating cultivation in Oakland, which will include enforcement against the guys with grow lights in their garages and backyard sheds.
The New York times reports that the leading contender for one of these cultivation permits is Jeff Wilcox, a member of the Proposition 19 steering committee. “Mr. Wilcox estimated that AgraMed would cost $20 million to develop.”
Current California medical marijuana law does not prohibit smoking in public. It is not currently illegal for medical marijuana patients to smoke in public or in sight of anyone under 18:
11362.79. Nothing in this article shall authorize a qualified patient or person with an identification card to engage in the smoking of medical marijuana under any of the following circumstances:
(a) In any place where smoking is prohibited by law.
(b) In or within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school, recreation center, or
youth center, unless the medical use occurs within a residence.
(c) On a schoolbus.
(d) While in a motor vehicle that is being operated.
(e) While operating a boat.
While debating Keith Kimber on Time4Hemp Chris Conrad stated Prop. 19 would have to win by a wider margin than Prop. 215 in order to supersede it. He reiterated this in an email that was passed around Facebook.
Even if it did conflict with or amend the medical marijuana laws, which it repeatedly does not do, Prop 19 would still have to pass by more than 56% to have any effect on Prop 215, which is highly unlikely.
Conrad is in error. The California Initiative Guide states the following:
If the provisions of two or more measures approved at the same election conflict, those of the measure receiving the highest affirmative vote shall prevail (Cal. Const., art. II, Section 10(b)).
This is not a case of two or more measures in the same election.
I find it funny that alot of people on here hate when big companies spend big money to push there own agenda. Here we have prop 19 which is fallowing that plan to the T and everyone wants it.
Mr. Lee is about his own business… which to be honest is a great deal for him and I am all for the American dream… however, do not hide it by pretending it is legalization and the concern for people going to jail. This prop is protecting his business plan not bringing legalization.
Once the money comes in for these big grows… 20 acre grow facility, there will be no need for full legalization as it will be counter productive. And since there will be a monopoly… no one will have the money to push for legalization.
This must be an insider voice,and not a DEA-troll.
Friend- as others have noted here, you post constantly using a kind of language that resembles the way people sound when they have fried their brain with too much meth or acid.
Are you related to Roger Christi, the poor man who got arrested by the dea in hawaii? you appear to be using his name, the name of his ministry, and other similarities.
in the past you have given your email address as cambodea.
you appear to be a very lonely person, given that you are posting on so many topics in rants that are impossible to understand.
The CC website needs rational, sane, intelligent people. It does not need sick people. Please get some counseling and other help. I say this as a friend. I am worried about your mental health. And yes, it is very tiresome to see your strange, bent, twisted stuff popping up on almost every article.
It is all about the money and never about legalization. Now here is the proof. Also bear in mind that Oakland will protect him if the feds come a knocking but who will protect the others???? They will face the feds alone.
Oakland approves massive grows; 275k per permit … Rich Lee Wins One
The Oakland City Council isn’t waiting for November to begin jumbling the legal rules. The Council’s Public Safety Committee approved licensing wholesale pot growing Tuesday, 3-to-1.
KALW News reporter Ali Winston reports from that meeting that sponsors say the main reason for the proposal isn’t revenue, it’s safety (as their name implies): residential electrical fires more than doubled in the city in the past three years, and officials think there’s a good connection between that increase and unregulated pot “grow houses.”
That said, the committee proposes that applicants pay fees of over $275,000 per operation.
Approved by the committee and full City Council, four large growers would be permitted in the first year.
One grower said he embraced regulation but argued that the plan would force medium- and small-scale cultivators to close down, move, or “go back underground into the dark ages.”
The ordinance doesn’t yet set a limit on the size of the large cultivators
The plan also would permit Oakland’s four licensed dispensaries to sell to retailers across California.
Last month rich lee purchased a 20 acre plot to build his new growing facilities …
We can never stop improving the freedom and access to all helpful substances,i.e.ibogaine-dmt etc…The first compromise is only the beginning of this continuing drama.The CIA-Mafia pigs will always destroy innocent people like Roger Christie-Marc Emery-Eddy Lepp–million more. Let us vote this into law,and work for additional constraint from “legal” government violence.Recreation = Reborn THC ONELOVE…DESTINY
There in is the problem… you risk loosing your job, your life and your kids. It is not just simple arresst and even if you do get off by the courts decision… the damage is done and can effect you the rest of you life.
From what the legal team involved with the wording of the ballot initiative say is that this will not affect medical users. Prop 215 and SB420 are still in place and people that register and have a valid card are still under those laws and not the new one. Medical users will still be exempt from the minor present clause and will still be able to use their individual plant limits and dried plant amounts. There doesn’t seem to be anything conflicting these statements.
The medical system will basically remain the way that it is and this initiative will benefit the recreational users. The poor misunderstood police will probably begin complaining that with the medical system and the new recreational system in place it will be too hard to determine who falls into which category and will probably just arrest everyone and let the courts decide. Simple solutions for simple minded law enforcement.
Great analyse of the content of this proposition. It won’t end any of the effects of prohibition, yet will open another market to special interests (LEO, Org. Crime, Int. Corporations) and creat new powers for government officals to harassment the american people, rather then serve them.
That is David Malmo-Levin, of course, and not my misattribution to David Levin-Malvo.
Prop 19 makes the non-medical use of cannabis quasi-legal in the State of California – for adults, only.
David Levin-Malvo is also correct, however. There is very much contained within Prop 19 that is far worse than the medical provisions of Prop 215. In fact, Prop 19 resembles nothing as much as a Trojan Horse put together by opponents of ALL cannabis use, medical or recreational. Considering the number of negatives, there is very little to recommend a “Yes” vote on Prop 19. It is already evident that neither the DEA nor Local / State LEO organizations and the prosecutors that they work for will honor the intent of Prop 19, just as they have done with Prop 215.
Either total decriminalization, or else a voter referendum to make cannabis just as legal as beer, wine, liquor, or tobacco is the proper course of action to restore those civil rights and liberties taken away with the advent of Prohibition 2.0. The only taxes that should come into play at the State or Local level should only have to apply to commercial over the counter sale of cannabis. It is reprehensible that Local and State governments should tax medical marijuana — do similar taxes apply to other prescription medications?
Cannabis is, as Governor Schwartzenegger stated so obviously, is a plant and not some evil drug. The greatest danger from cannabis use is the risk of persecution by the government — it is otherwise the least harmful and most useful single plant known to mankind. All else is propaganda repeated one generation to the next in a war by an increasingly totalitarian police state against their own population.
Again with the DEA going rogue… you will see more of this once prop goes inot effect. However instead of jail… you will see the fed pen.
My suggestion… the total decriminalization of Marijuan for the State of CA. and hold elected officials and LE who aid the feds Liable.
just my .02
I don’t think that a parent should smoke unless they are medical patients because we need all of our brain power to take care of the yungins. That said I’d really like to see this stuff become legal already and as invasive as the new prop is, if it passes its definitely a step in the right direction and it opens up new opportunities and arguments. We need to get our foot in the door and this may just be it. Although look at the netherlands they’re starting to prohibit tourists who come to smoke because they say it increases crime im not sure why they think enabling prohibition again is going to curb crime though but that remains to be seen.
Can only assume that Richard Lee et.al.,decided this firm distinction between adult and under 21y.o. was necessary. As a huge medical provider they didn’t seem concerned that med-pot rights were reduced… as their life,customers and business is on the line. The provision to grow your own and be free of tax, (the vertical height limit ,after 25 s.f.is not mentioned?)and to be free for recreation/spiritual usage outweight the disadvantages. The fact that “free spirit hippie/anarchist” elements reject this synthesis only makes it more attractive to the non-smoking voting public.
First the graph is from 2008, a little outdated. Second I’ve gotta side with David and say this prop is probably not the best we could do as far as obtaining further rights for medical patients. In fact, from what I’ve read it doesn’t seem to do anything for medical patients rights at all. I think the only reason it made the ballot at all is because the government will start getting a bigger cut of our income. And the thing about not smoking in front of your kids will probably be twisted by law enforcement so that every parent who smokes is a criminal because they’re either forcing their kids to inhale the smoke, or they’re neglecting their kids so they can use.
This country was founded because of tax issues, and we’re already taxed in ways that violate the Constitution. We don’t need to give more money to corrupt governments.
argument. This was the excellence of Greece,and early democracy. People,(then only wealthy men)with debate and reason, volunteer their consent/agreement. No free man could be forced,esp..fom attack the person–not the argument. When I hear from Marc Emery,and he says with his name that my comments are rude/counterproductive…I’ll move on..until then I’ll rely on good CC family to interpret my message.
first of all, the only thing that should be done with cannabis is to legalize it totally like a tomato or any other kind of plant. i don’t need the governments and tax bastards telling me what to do or taking a cut of the money. secondly why is it that on virtually every thread this weird guy ray christi is posting a bizarro mishmash of pseudo rasta psychobabble. i mean, is this guy supposedly related to the poor guy roger christie who got busted in hawaii or who knows- but ray christie whoever you are- get a life. you are a totally annoying and stalkerish presence on cannabis culture!!
presented by Mr.M-L,yet the main thesis is adult usage is legal…and spiritual sacrament for over 21 years old is protected by/from State law. A first step that cracks the egg,and births the legal “spirit of truth”. Hopefully, eventually law enforcement will accept greater levels of freedom. The counterculture has been built on the illegal “spiritual” influence of the cannabis mindal miracle,so are we adult enough to unleash this “love” on our entire planet ?
In fact, it may increase them:
The penalty for carrying an ounce is a mere citation and maximum $100 fine. Moreover, possession of one ounce is on its way to being downgraded from a misdemeanor to an infraction, because the state Senate voted in June to reclassify its status.  No one goes to jail for having an ounce or less in California, and no one gets arrested, because it is not an arrestable offense.
One often-quoted statistic in the initiative debate is that misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests reached 61,388 in 2008. However, it is important to note that this statistic does not refer to any arrest demographic that the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative would affect. This statistic refers only to possession of more than one ounce, possession by minors and possession on school grounds—offenses which the initiative will not legalize. It does not refer to nor does it include marijuana arrests for possession of one ounce or less, because this is not an arrestable offense. Therefore, the initiative would have no impact on reducing these arrests rates.
Statistically, the demographic that accounts for nearly one-quarter of total arrests for marijuana possession in California happens to be those in the 18-20 age group. But because the initiative explicitly makes it illegal for even adults age 18-20 to possess marijuana, these arrests will not decrease, and the drug war against young adults will rage on.
Furthermore, since the initiative would keep possession of amounts greater than one ounce illegal and likewise maintain the illegality of private sales of any amount, the overall impact that the initiative would have on ending the drug war, reducing arrest rates and saving on prison costs would be negligible, at best.
As an example of how highly misunderstood this initiative and its potential impact on the drug war is, the California NAACP recently pledged their support for the initiative based on the belief that it will put an end to the disproportionately high number of African-American youth going to jail “over a joint.”  But in reality, the initiative will have no impact on this phenomenon whatsoever. As it is now, the State of California does not jail people for having a joint; it is not an arrestable offense. And, as mentioned above, possession of up to one ounce is on its way to being reclassified from a misdemeanor to an infraction—which carries no criminal-record stigma. The state does, however, incarcerate people for selling small amounts of marijuana. And since this initiative keeps private marijuana sales illegal, no matter the quantity, there will be no decrease in the number of African Americans—or anyone else—arrested for selling a joint.
Contrary to the belief that it will keep people out of jail for marijuana, this initiative actually creates new demographics of people to incarcerate. (See Fact #2 and Fact #3) It is difficult to see how the government would save on court and imprisonment costs if the initiative merely shifts arrests from one demographic to another.
Myth #2: The initiative will keep young adults out of jail for using marijuana.
Fact: This initiative would put more young people in jail for pot. If it becomes law, any adult 21 or over who passes a joint to another adult aged 18-20 would face six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.  (NORML’s Web site reports that the current penalty for a gift of marijuana of 1 oz. or less is a $100 fine.)
Myth #3: You’ll be able to light up freely in the privacy of your home.
Fact: That depends. Under the initiative, even adults consuming marijuana in the privacy of their homes could face arrest if there are minors present (not something one would expect from an initiative that claims to treat marijuana like alcohol and tobacco). Current marijuana law contains no such restrictions. Thanks to Prop. 215, which legalized marijuana for medicinal use, cannabis consumers have been legally free to smoke in the privacy of their homes since 1997. This initiative seeks to undermine that freedom, making it absolutely illegal to smoke marijuana if there are minors present. (The initiative is ambiguous with regard to whether “present” means being in the same room as the consumer, the same house, the same apartment building, or within wafting distance—apparently leaving this up to the interpretation of judges.) There is no exception for medical marijuana patients or for parents consuming in the presence of their own children.