California’s Prop 19: A Word-for-Word Analysis

I’ve spent the evening reading various blogs that have sprouted up in opposition to Proposition 19, California’s effort to legalize marijuana this November.  These “Stoners Against Legalization” blogs confound me; they remind me of Sam Kinison’s line comparing “Rock Against Drugs” to “Christians Against Christ”.

Some of these blogs are based on the notion that legalization would be worse than “what we have now”.  The assumption there is that if you smoke marijuana in California, you must already have your Prop 215 recommendation from a doctor, and you’d be losing your rights under Prop 19.

Most marijuana smokers, believe it or not, are healthy and aren’t comfortable spending money for a doctor to give them permission to use cannabis.  Currently we face a ticket, fine, and misdemeanor drug conviction record for possession an ounce or less of cannabis.  That record prevents us from getting student aid and can cost us our jobs, child custody, and housing, or if we’re on probation, our freedom.  (Even if California succeeds at downgrading possession to an infraction from a misdemeanor, a $100 ticket is a lot of money to some people!)  We face a felony charge if we grow even one plant at home.  For us, Prop 19 is much better than “what we have now”.

Another thing that appears in some of these blogs is outright misinformation, such as talk of a $50/ounce state tax (it’s not in the initiative; that was Ammiano’s bill) or that it would supersede Prop 215 (it wouldn’t, and Prop 19 even references Prop 215 in its language, so it couldn’t).  Others play up the “millionaires”, “big corporations”, and “monopolies” that would be created and the earnest Emerald Triangle family growers who’d be put out of business (which amuses me: Prop 19 allows localities to regulate sales, so why wouldn’t Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino county residents whose economy depends on pot sales lobby really hard to get legalized pot sales OK’d in those counties and cities within, and regulated in a way that protects the small grower?)

Two notable sticking points have to do with minors below 21:  Prop 19 creates a new crime in being an adult over 21 who gives marijuana to adults aged 18-20 and Prop 19 forbids adults over 21 from smoking where minors are present.  Prop 19’s penalties in the first situation mirror the penalties for giving alcohol to 18-20-year-olds, but, yes, it is disturbing to create a new statute that calls for jail time over marijuana.  It’s also questionable whether an adult should be punished for smoking pot if their child can see them – we don’t even require that of alcohol and tobacco.

But are these reason enough to continue ruining the lives of people 21 and older?  Besides, if you’re over 21 smoking with some 18-year-olds or in front of some minors, and you’re doing it inside your home, who is to know?  And if you’re 18-20, wouldn’t you love being legal in 1 to 3 years?

Because the biggest thing Prop 19 does, the forest that these blogs are missing for the trees, is LEGALIZE ADULT MARIJUANA CULTIVATION AND POSSESSION.

Even under Prop 215, the adult cannabis consumer is guilty of being a criminal unless proven innocent as a patient.  When Prop 19 passes, the adult cannabis consumer is considered innocent until proven guilty.  It is a complete game changer for law enforcement, because:

  • the smell of marijuana on your person is no longer probable cause to search you;
  • that joint in your pocket means nothing;
  • the seizure of stems, leaves, and seeds from your trash is irrelevant;
  • a couple of baggies with weed residue in them are just garbage;
  • the sight of that bong on your table visible through the kitchen window isn’t a “welcome” mat for a police search;
  • your utility bills raising a bit for water and lights don’t matter;
  • your neighbors smelling skunky plants is just a nuisance, not the source for an “anonymous tip”;
  • receipts for lights, soil, fertilizer, ballasts, trimmers, and stuff are meaningless;
  • infrared signatures of your home aren’t evidence of anything;
  • marijuana sniffing K-9 units are out of a job; and
  • pre-employment drug testing programs become harder for businesses to maintain for cannabis.

Basically, one of the simplest tools law enforcement has for harassing cannabis consumers – the sight and smell of cannabis and paraphernalia – is no longer in the tool belt.  As long as you’re an adult, keep your grow in a 5?x5? area, don’t smoke in front of kids, and don’t leave the house with over an ounce, you are free from police harassment.

And even if you don’t follow the law perfectly, who’s to know?  If you’re pulled over and there’s an ounce and a half in your backpack, how does that cop know?  Does it “smell heavy” in your car?  So long as you refuse a search, how will he know?  The smell of pot isn’t cause for a search; you’re allowed to have an ounce of it.

If you have a 10?x10? garden, who’s to know?  Is the electric bill that much higher?  Does the garden smell more (probably not at all if you build a good grow room)?  Plus don’t forget that you’re allowed to have more than one ounce, namely, any amount that you grow within your 5?x5? garden, at the location of the garden.  I think by the time law enforcement came back with a warrant to investigate how big my garden is, three-fourths of it would be cut down and I would suddenly have my 5?x5? garden and my hanging plants from the last 5?x5? area I harvested.

Suppose there is four pounds of marijuana at my house.  Why, officer, that’s the results from my last legal 5?x5? personal garden harvest.  What, you don’t see any 5?x5? growing space?  Well, I used to grow, but I took down my garden and sold my equipment after my last harvest.  Why, yes, they were some pretty big plants.  No, I didn’t take any pictures, because what I was doing was perfectly legal.  (Prop 19 also has a nice affirmative defense to claim the marijuana in your home was for your personal use.  These blogs never seem to notice that.)

So below I’ve decided to write a word-for-word analysis of Prop 19, mainly because it seems like many of the people against it have never read it.  Standard disclaimer: I am no lawyer… hell, I’m not even a college graduate.

Proposition 19: The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010

Title and Summary:

Changes California Law to Legalize Marijuana and Allow It to Be Regulated and Taxed. Initiative Statute.

Allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Permits local governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of marijuana to people 21 years old or older. Prohibits people from possessing marijuana on school grounds, using it in public, smoking it while minors are present, or providing it to anyone under 21 years old. Maintains current prohibitions against driving while impaired. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Savings of up to several tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Unknown but potentially major tax, fee, and benefit assessment revenues to state and local government related to the production and sale of marijuana products.

If you’re over 21, your personal pot use and cultivation are legal.  Some places may even let you buy and sell it.  You still can’t smoke it at school, in public, and with kids.  Don’t drive stoned.  We might even save and raise some money while we’re at it.

Section 1: Name
This Act shall be known as the “Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.”

Or, simply, “Prop 19?.

Section 2: Findings, Intent and Purposes
This Act, adopted by the People of the State of California, makes the following Findings and Statement of Intent and Purpose:
A.     Findings
1.     California’s laws criminalizing cannabis (marijuana) have failed and need to be reformed. Despite spending decades arresting millions of non-violent cannabis consumers, we have failed to control cannabis or reduce its availability.
2.     According to surveys, roughly 100 million Americans (around 1/3 of the country’s population) acknowledge that they have used cannabis, 15 million of those Americans having consumed cannabis in the last month. Cannabis consumption is simply a fact of life for a large percentage of Americans.
3.     Despite having some of the strictest cannabis laws in the world, the United States has the largest number of cannabis consumers. The percentage of our citizens who consume cannabis is double that of the percentage of people who consume cannabis in the Netherlands, a country where the selling and adult possession of cannabis is allowed.
4.     According to The National Research Council’s recent study of the 11 U.S. states where cannabis is currently decriminalized, there is little apparent relationship between severity of sanctions and the rate of consumption.
5.     Cannabis has fewer harmful effects than either alcohol or cigarettes, which are both legal for adult consumption. Cannabis is not physically addictive, does not have long term toxic effects on the body, and does not cause its consumers to become violent.
6.     There is an estimated $15 billion in illegal cannabis transactions in California each year. Taxing and regulating cannabis, like we do with alcohol and cigarettes, will generate billions of dollars in annual revenues for California to fund what matters most to Californians: jobs, health care, schools and libraries, roads, and more.
7.     California wastes millions of dollars a year targeting, arresting, trying, convicting, and imprisoning non-violent citizens for cannabis related offenses. This money would be better used to combat violent crimes and gangs.
8.     The illegality of cannabis enables for the continuation of an out-of-control criminal market, which in turn spawns other illegal and often violent activities. Establishing legal, regulated sales outlets would put dangerous street dealers out of business.

Prohibition’s bad, mmmkay?  It doesn’t work, wastes money, and creates crime.  This Act will be a first step in ending that.

B.     Purposes
1.     Reform California’s cannabis laws in a way that will benefit our state.
2.     Regulate cannabis like we do alcohol: Allow adults to possess and consume small amounts of cannabis.
3.     Implement a legal regulatory framework to give California more control over the cultivation, processing, transportation, distribution, and sales of cannabis.
4.     Implement a legal regulatory framework to better police and prevent access to and consumption of cannabis by minors in California.

News flash: most people, especially non-cannabis consumers, think it is a bad idea for kids to use cannabis.

5.     Put dangerous, underground street dealers out of business, so their influence in our communities will fade.
6.     Provide easier, safer access for patients who need cannabis for medical purposes.

One blogger suggested that this point #6 would be enough for the courts to assume that the people meant Prop 19 to supersede patients’ medical rights under Prop 215, also known as California Health & Safety Code #11362.5.  Somehow, #6 means that Prop 215 patients would suddenly be limited to 5?x5? gardens and an ounce of medicine.  Which seems odd to me, when you read further in #7 below…

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.

…where they are saying that if your city doesn’t allow cannabis sales, you can still possess your one ounce, except if you’re permitted more than that under Prop 215 (11362.5).  How could any court think that #6 means all of Prop 19 supersedes Prop 215 when a nullified Prop 215 means #7 is granting an exception that wouldn’t exist if it were superseded?

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.

If a city does allow cannabis sales it can regulate how much you buy and sell, except if you’re permitted more than that under Prop 215 (11362.5)… you know, the part that #6 supposedly supersedes.

9.     Tax and regulate cannabis to generate billions of dollars for our state and local governments to fund what matters most: jobs, healthcare, schools and libraries, parks, roads, transportation, and more.

Well, that’s a lovely premise, but nothing controls how these governments would spend the money.  But since were talking about local governments, not the state, there will be more local control and pressure over how local marijuana money is spent.

10.   Stop arresting thousands of non-violent cannabis consumers, freeing up police resources and saving millions of dollars each year, which could be used for apprehending truly dangerous criminals and keeping them locked up, and for other essential state needs that lack funding.

Well, people consuming less than an ounce are only getting tickets, not arrests, but still there are arrests for possessing more than an ounce at home and for growing any amount at home.

11.   Allow the Legislature to adopt a statewide regulatory system for a commercial cannabis industry.

Someday the state might decide to let cannabis be sold statewide… probably after the feds end their cannabis prohibition.  This is important: this line doesn’t force California to violate federal law, but it sets the stage for statewide regulation once it doesn’t violate federal law.

12.   Make cannabis available for scientific, medical, industrial, and research purposes.

That might be difficult, as California’s universities and teaching hospitals – the places where you might scientifically study cannabis – often have federal ties that prevent them from engaging in cannabis research.  But it will be no more difficult than it is now.

13.   Permit California to fulfill the state’s obligations under the United States Constitution to enact laws concerning health, morals, public welfare and safety within the State.

This is kind of a 10th Amendment issue, after all, except for the Supreme Court’s view that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution empowers the Congress to make laws prohibiting citizens of California from consuming a house plant for personal purposes in private.

14.   Permit the cultivation of small amounts of cannabis for personal consumption.

This is the best part of Prop 19 – the marijuana plant is declared legal in some situations!

C.      Intent
1.     This Act is intended to limit the application and enforcement of state and local laws relating to possession, transportation, cultivation, consumption and sale of cannabis, including but not limited to the following, whether now existing or adopted in the future: Health and Safety Code sections 11014.5 and 11364.5 [relating to drug paraphernalia]; 11054 [relating to cannabis or tetrahydrocannabinols]; 11357 [relating to possession]; 11358 [relating to cultivation]; 11359 [possession for sale]; 11360 [relating to transportation and sales]; 11366 [relating to maintenance of places]; 11366.5 [relating to use of property]; 11370 [relating to punishment]; 11470 [relating to forfeiture]; 11479 [relating to seizure and destruction]; 11703 [relating to definitions regarding illegal substances]; 11705 [actions for use of illegal controlled substance]; Vehicle Code sections 23222 and 40000.15 [relating to possession].

This Act will legalize cannabis possession, transportation, cultivation, consumption, and sale of cannabis to some extent…

2.     This Act is not intended to affect the application or enforcement of the following state laws relating to public health and safety or protection of children and others: Health and Safety Code sections 11357 [relating to possession on school grounds]; 11361 [relating to minors as amended herein]; 11379.6 [relating to chemical production]; 11532 [relating to loitering to commit a crime or acts not authorized by law]; Vehicle Code section 23152 [relating to driving while under the influence]; Penal Code section 272 [relating to contributing to the delinquency of a minor]; nor any law prohibiting use of controlled substances in the workplace or by specific persons whose jobs involve public safety.

…except where it concerns kids, schools, and driving or working high.

Section 3: Lawful Activities
Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, commencing with section 11300 is added to read:
Section 11300: Personal Regulation and Controls
(a)     Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it is lawful and shall not be a public offense under California law for any person 21 years of age or older to:
(i)     Personally possess, process, share, or transport not more than one ounce of cannabis, solely for that individual’s personal consumption, and not for sale.

If you’re 21 or older, you can have an ounce of weed on you, out in public, and share it with your 21 and older friends.

(ii)    Cultivate, on private property by the owner, lawful occupant, or other lawful resident or guest of the private property owner or lawful occupant, cannabis plants for personal consumption only, in an area of not more than twenty-five square feet per private residence or, in the absence of any residence, the parcel. Cultivation on leased or rented property may be subject to approval from the owner of the property.  Provided that, nothing in this section shall permit unlawful or unlicensed cultivation of cannabis on any public lands.

You can grow a 25 sq ft marijuana garden in your home or on your land.  You might have to get your landlord’s permission if you’re renting.

(iii)    Possess on the premises where grown the living and harvested plants and results of any harvest and processing of plants lawfully cultivated pursuant to section 11300(a)(ii), for personal consumption.

Whatever you harvest at home in your 25 sq ft garden, you can keep at home.  Not just one ounce, the whole harvest.  No time limit.  If you harvest a pound every three months and have a stash of twelve pounds after four years, and you’re not selling, that pot is all yours and perfectly legit.

(iv)    Possess objects, items, tools, equipment, products and materials associated with activities permitted under this subsection.

Your bongs are now legal, too.

(b)     “Personal consumption” shall include but is not limited to possession and consumption, in any form, of cannabis in a residence or other non-public place, and shall include licensed premises open to the public authorized to permit on-premises consumption of cannabis by a local government pursuant to section 11301.

“In any form” = hash, edibles, tinctures.  You’ve got to consume in a non-public place, unless your city is cool and allows public consumption in certain places.  (Hello, hash bar!)

(c)     “Personal consumption” shall not include, and nothing in this Act shall permit cannabis:
(i)     possession for sale regardless of amount, except by a person who is licensed or permitted to do so under the terms of an ordinance adopted pursuant to section 11301;
(ii)    consumption in public or in a public place;
(iii)    consumption by the operator of any vehicle, boat or aircraft while it is being operated, or that impairs the operator;
(iv)    smoking cannabis in any space while minors are present.

You can’t sell it without a license, smoke in public, smoke while driving, boating, or flying, or smoke around kids.

Section 11301: Commercial Regulations and Controls
Notwithstanding any other provision of state or local law, a local government may adopt ordinances, regulations, or other acts having the force of law to control, license, regulate, permit or otherwise authorize, with conditions, the following:

Local governments can regulate commercial sales.  It is very important that this initiative didn’t force the State of California to regulate commercial sales, which could have hung this initiative up in court for putting California in “positive conflict” with the federal prohibition.  Here, California isn’t doing anything about sales… literally.  California is saying, “if Berkeley wants to allow weed selling, we won’t stop them.”

(a)     cultivation, processing, distribution, the safe and secure transportation, sale and possession for sale of cannabis, but only by persons and in amounts lawfully authorized;
(b)     retail sale of not more than one ounce per transaction, in licensed premises, to persons 21 years or older, for personal consumption and not for resale;
(c)     appropriate controls on cultivation, transportation, sales, and consumption of cannabis to strictly prohibit access to cannabis by persons under the age of 21;
(d)    age limits and controls to ensure that all persons present in, employed by, or in any way involved in the operation of, any such licensed premises are 21 or older;

If a city wants to legalize sales, it can only be up to an ounce per transaction and everybody involved has to be 21 or older.

(e)     consumption of cannabis within licensed premises;

A city can license bars and coffee shops to allow on-site toking, as well as the retail marijuana stores.

(f)     safe and secure transportation of cannabis from a licensed premises for cultivation or processing, to a licensed premises for sale or on-premises consumption of cannabis;
(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;

A city can punish you for getting cannabis illegally.  You can grow your own or you can buy it from a licensed store.  You and your friends can share what you grow, up to an ounce each.

(h)    appropriate controls on licensed premises for sale, cultivation, processing, or sale and on-premises consumption, of cannabis, including limits on zoning and land use, locations, size, hours of operation, occupancy, protection of adjoining and nearby properties and persons from unwanted exposure, advertising, signs and displays, and other controls necessary for protection of the public health and welfare;

A city could limit a pot store’s locations, hours, size, advertising, and keep them away from other businesses.

(i)     appropriate environmental and public health controls to ensure that any licensed premises minimizes any harm to the environment, adjoining and nearby landowners, and persons passing by;

A city could make you control the smoke and smell and make you be polite to nearby businesses and locals.

(j)     appropriate controls to restrict public displays, or public  consumption of cannabis;
(k)    appropriate taxes or fees pursuant to section 11302;

A city can tax marijuana and keep it out of public view.

(l)     such larger amounts as the local authority deems appropriate and proper under local circumstances, than those established under section 11300(a) for personal possession and cultivation, or under this section for commercial cultivation, processing, transportation and sale by persons authorized to do so under this section;

A city might decide you are allowed to grow more than a 5?x5? garden and possess more than an ounce for personal consumption.  And maybe they decide you can buy and sell more than an ounce at a time.  Hooray!

(m)   any other appropriate controls necessary for protection of the public health and welfare.

Section 11302: Imposition and Collection of Taxes and Fees
(a)     Any ordinance, regulation or other act adopted pursuant to section 11301 may include imposition of appropriate general, special or excise, transfer or transaction taxes, benefit assessments, or fees, on any activity authorized pursuant to such enactment, in order to permit the local government to raise revenue, or to recoup any direct or indirect costs associated with the authorized activity, or the permitting or licensing scheme, including without limitation:  administration; applications and issuance of licenses or permits; inspection of licensed premises and other enforcement of ordinances adopted under section 11301, including enforcement against unauthorized activities.

Cities can tax cannabis and create fees for licensing and can use that to cover the costs of enforcing the law.

(b)     Any licensed premises shall be responsible for paying all federal, state and local taxes, fees, fines, penalties or other financial responsibility imposed on all or similarly situated businesses, facilities or premises, including without limitation income taxes, business taxes, license fees, and property taxes, without regard to or identification of the business or items or services sold.

Licensed cannabis businesses have to pay their taxes.

Section 11303: Seizure

(a)     Notwithstanding sections 11470 and 11479 of the Health and Safety Code or any other provision of law, no state or local law enforcement agency or official shall attempt to, threaten to, or in fact seize or destroy any cannabis plant, cannabis seeds or cannabis that is lawfully cultivated, processed, transported, possessed, possessed for sale, sold or used in compliance with this Act or any local government ordinance, law or regulation adopted pursuant to this Act.

Cops cannot take your plants or your weed if you’re obeying the law.

Section 11304: Effect of Act and Definitions
(a)     This Act shall not be construed to affect, limit or amend any statute that forbids impairment while engaging in dangerous activities such as driving, or that penalizes bringing cannabis to a school enrolling pupils in any grade from kindergarten through 12, inclusive.

You can’t smoke pot while doing something dangerous.  You can’t bring pot to school.

(b)     Nothing in this Act shall be construed or interpreted to permit interstate or international transportation of cannabis.  This Act shall be construed to permit a person to transport cannabis in a safe and secure manner from a licensed premises in one city or county to a licensed premises in another city or county pursuant to any ordinances adopted in such cities or counties, notwithstanding any other state law or the lack of any such ordinance in the intervening cities or counties.

You can’t take your weed out of state or out of the country.  But you can take it from one legal place to another, even if the places in-between aren’t legal.

(c)     No person shall be punished, fined, discriminated against, or be denied any right or privilege for lawfully engaging in any conduct permitted by this Act or authorized pursuant to Section 11301 of this Act.  Provided however, that the existing right of an employer to address consumption that actually impairs job performance by an employee shall not be affected.

This is a big one.  You can’t be punished or denied privileges based on pot smoking.  The only exception is employers preventing you from smoking pot on the job.  Note the “actually impairs job performance” language.  This is the loophole through which some attorney is going to drive a big truck delivering us freedom from workplace pee testing for cannabis.  Pee test metabolites do not prove workplace impairment.

(d)    Definitions
For purposes of this Act:
(i)     “Marijuana” and “cannabis” are interchangeable terms that mean all parts of the plant Genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; concentrated cannabis; edible products containing same; and every active compound, manufacture, derivative, or preparation of the plant, or resin.

Hemp is also in Genus Cannabis.  Cities could legalize industrial hemp production.  Hash, hash oil, and edibles are all legal, too.

(ii)    “One ounce” means 28.5 grams.

We just got an extra 0.15 grams… because an ounce is really 28.3495231 grams.

(iii)    For purposes of section 11300(a)(ii) “cannabis plant” means all parts of a living Cannabis plant.
(iv)    In determining whether an amount of cannabis is or is not in excess of the amounts permitted by this Act, the following shall apply:
(a)     only the active amount of the cannabis in an edible cannabis product shall be included;

So the ounce in your plate of brownies is still only an ounce, not the pound that the brownies weigh.

(b)     living and harvested cannabis plants shall be assessed by square footage, not by weight in determining the amounts set forth in section 11300(a);

Your plants, in the ground or freshly cut and hanging, don’t count against the one ounce that you can have on your person.  So long as the plants fit in 25 sq ft, you’re golden.  Since you can already have the fruits of your harvest at home, the fact that this also means your plants don’t count against your home weight is irrelevant

(c)     in a criminal proceeding a person accused of violating a limitation in this Act shall have the right to an affirmative defense that the cannabis was reasonably related to his or her personal consumption.

Even if you have a whole lot of marijuana, you still have a defense in court that your marijuana was for your own personal consumption.

(v)     “residence” means a dwelling or structure, whether permanent or temporary, on private or public property, intended for occupation by a person or persons for residential purposes, and includes that portion of any structure intended for both commercial and residential purposes.

Since “residence” could have more than one occupant, but each “residence” only gets one 5?x5? garden, this is a minor issue in a multi-roommate situation.  But even sharing the garden, it is more garden than they are allowed to grow now.

(vi)    “local government” means a city, county, or city and county.
(vii)   “licensed premises” is any commercial business, facility, building, land or area that  has a license, permit or is otherwise authorized to cultivate, process, transport, sell, or permit on-premises consumption, of cannabis pursuant to any ordinance or regulation adopted by a local government pursuant to section 11301, or any subsequently enacted state statute or regulation.

Section 4: Prohibition on Furnishing Marijuana to Minors
Section 11361 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
Prohibition on Furnishing Marijuana to Minors
(a) Every person 18 years of age or over who hires, employs, or uses a minor in transporting, carrying, selling, giving away, preparing for sale, or peddling any marijuana, who unlawfully sells, or offers to sell, any marijuana to a minor, or who furnishes, administers, or gives, or offers to furnish, administer, or give any marijuana to a minor under 14 years of age, or who induces a minor to use marijuana in violation of law shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a period of three, five, or seven years.
(b) Every person 18 years of age or over who furnishes, administers, or gives, or offers to furnish, administer, or give, any marijuana to a minor 14 years of age or older shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a period of three, four, or five years.

These first two sections confuse many readers as they think these are all new additions to law.  Parts (a) and (b) are the parts of the law as they already exist.  Only (c) and (d) are the new portions:

(c) Every person 21 years of age or over who knowingly furnishes, administers, or gives, or offers to furnish, administer or give, any marijuana to a person aged 18 years or older, but younger than 21 years of age, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of up to six months and be fined up to $1,000 for each offense.

This is the one section that gets a lot of attention.  Currently, the punishment for a “gift” of marijuana from a 21+ to a 18-20 is a citation and $100 fine.  Now it will be six months and $1,000.

But this is the punishment in California for providing alcohol to 18-20s.  Politically, initiative backers had to face the fact that “What About the Children?!?” is one of the few compelling arguments the opposition has left.  No initiative that legalizes for 18-year-olds – many of whom are still in high school – has a prayer of passing yet.

(d) In addition to the penalties above, any person who is licensed, permitted or authorized to perform any act pursuant to Section 11301, who while so licensed, permitted or authorized, negligently furnishes, administers, gives or sells, or offers to furnish, administer, give or sell, any marijuana to any person younger than 21 years of age shall not be permitted to own, operate, be employed by, assist or enter any licensed premises authorized under Section 11301 for a period of one year.

If you own or work in a pot store and your marijuana gets in the hands of someone under 21, you can’t own, work in, or even go to any pot store for a year.

Section 5: Amendment
Pursuant to Article 2, section 10(c) of the California Constitution, this Act may be amended either by a subsequent measure submitted to a vote of the People at a statewide election; or by statute validly passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, but only to further the purposes of the Act.  Such permitted amendments include but are not limited to:

The people, through initiative, or the legislature, through bills, can amend this Act, but only to better define what we said this Act was about in the Purposes above, or to…

(a)     Amendments to the limitations in section 11300, which limitations are minimum thresholds and the Legislature may adopt less restrictive limitations.

Nobody can make your one ounce and 5?x5? garden smaller, but the state could give you more.

(b)     Statutes and authorize regulations to further the purposes of the Act to establish a statewide regulatory system for a commercial cannabis industry that addresses some or all of the items referenced in Sections 11301 and 11302.

The state could set up a statewide cannabis industry.

(c)     Laws to authorize the production of hemp or non-active cannabis for horticultural and industrial purposes.

The state could get serious about industrial hemp production.

Section 6: Severability
If any provision of this measure or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the measure that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this measure are severable.

If the courts strike down, say, the sales portion of the law, that doesn’t kill the personal possession and cultivation parts of the law.

– Article from The Norml Stash Blog on July 17, 2010.



  1. dragonfly de la luz on

    for a “word-for-word analysis,” this article sure misses a lot of critical points. here, let me help you:

    Section 3: Lawful Activities: Section 11301: Commercial Regulations and Controls: (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.

    (The key words being, “[c]annabis that was not obtained lawfully…”)

    That means that some cannabis will be lawful, and some cannabis will be unlawful–depending on who you “obtain” it from. According to the initiative itself, a person who can “lawfully” provide cannabis is “a person pursuant to this section or section 11300.” And who is “a person pursuant to section 11300?” Read on:

    Section 11300: (i) …a person who is licensed or permitted to do so [sell marijuana] under the terms of an ordinance adopted pursuant to section 11301.

    –Thus, the initiative’s exact words–“prohibit and punish… the possession… of cannabis that was not obtained lawfully… from a person who is licensed or permitted to do so”–mean exactly this:


    see more crucial points of prop. 19 belville and other supporters overlook here:

    and the original article here:


    by the way, many attorneys have come out supporting my claim that prop. 19 could affect prop. 215. not based on what russ belville says, not based on what richard lee says, but based on what the initiative itself says:

    Dragonfly Is Correct About Prop. 19’s Impact on Patients

    and to correct you, russ, we are not “stoners against legalization.” we are stoners (and activists and attorneys) against prop 19. apparently, to be pro-legalization and pro-19 are two different things entirely.

  2. dragonfly de la luz on

    here’s the link you requested:

    (you’ll see that russ belville’s “word-for-word analysis” actually does not address many of my claims against the initiative.)

    and some arguments by an attorney supporting my claim that prop. 19 could impact prop. 215 patients. (one would assume that prop. 215 patients would be protected… but the reality is, the wording of the initiative says otherwise.)

    Dragonfly Is Correct About Prop. 19’s Impact on Patients

    (many attorneys have commented on my blog or written their own pieces validating my claims.)

    also, for a brief comparison of prop. 19 with CCHHI 2012:

    and finally, this article addresses the main issues that people like russ belville and other prop. 19 supporters continue to avoid when addressing the initiative:

    please read them and vote NO!

  3. Anonymous on

    First off I haven’t read about CCHH 2012 yet, but I’m intrigued why Nor Cal is saying no. Put a link in your comment to a good breakdown like this article in CCmag… I wanna read it.
    But it says right there in this article that “Hemp is also in Genus Cannabis. Cities could legalize industrial hemp production.” So how is that not supporting hemp for industrial use?

    I feel like this Prop 19 is a good first step. Money is a great motivator.
    Sure 5 x 5 is a small garden for medicinal use, but wouldn’t prop 215 still be in effect?
    I imagine a lot of people that currently have a Prop 215 recommendation won’t get it renewed after Prop 19 passes.

    Sure MJ should be removed from the CDSA first, but it also should have never made it there in the first place. That was unsubstantiated for sure.

    I’m all down for enacting laws that favor the people, consumers, and medical patients before the companies profiting. But I’ll be honest… this Prop 19 stands to happen first, makes a great stride, and has the money backing it up. When the people alone can make CCHH 2012 more popular than those with the money to back Prop 19, then we will know the people are ready to take responsibility for their actions. It’s a bit sad to admit, but I don’t feel there are enough people ready and willing to ask for what they really want.

    Meanwhile it’s a lot easier to let the people with money promote and back Prop 19 while the regular citizens just sit back and say “yeah sure.”
    Jus sayin’

  4. Humboldt Activist on

    Please read Jack Herrer’s 2012 ‘California Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative’. This Act includes the legalization of industrial hemp! Prop 19 is a sham written by a couple of multimillionaire marijuana tycoons in Oakland who now are dominating the market, and wish to continue doing so. Prop 19 does nothing to help patients, but it will line the pockets of the tax collector because there is no limit on the taxes that can be charged. Northern California is voting no on Prop 19, and voting YES on CCHH 2012.

  5. Humboldt Activist on

    This Proposition is a scam. It doesn’t allow patients enough of anything and it only benefits the rich guys that authored it. The California Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative is a much more responsible piece of legislation, authored by Jack Herrer himself. The people of Northern California will vote NO on “Crock 19” and save our yes votes for CCHH 2012.

  6. Humboldt Advocate on

    The Authors behind this legislation want it to benefit only them. They’ve contributed millions of dollars to this campaign and they run multi million dollar empires in marijuana cultivation. They want this legislation because they want to be able to dominate the market. We in Humboldt, Trinity, Mendicino, and Del Norte counties will vote NO on this “Crock 19” and instead vote yes on the 2012 California Cannabis Hemp & Health initiative. This legislation not only legalizes more cannabis for personal use, it legalizes HEMP for industrial uses as well (i.e., food, fuel, fiber, etc.). This would benefit the economy in many ways, and put local farmers and textile plants back to work. We could be a hemp exporter, whereas right now we import hemp from Canada and China. Proposition 19 leaves out crucial regulation of taxation limits and market controls. The people that make out the best are the greedy, capitalist few in Oakland, not the patients or consumers. Northern California Chapters of NORML do not support this legislation, but instead support the California Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative in 2012, written by Jack Herrer. Please do the research, don’t be fooled or impatient. The real reform is here, but it is not prop 19.

    Wake up to the elitist lie. Please don’t be fooled.
    Justice now!

  7. Humboldt Advocate on

    The Authors behind this legislation want it to benefit only them. They’ve contributed millions of dollars to this campaign and they run multi million dollar empires in marijuana cultivation. They want this legislation because they want to be able to dominate the market. We in Humboldt, Trinity, Mendicino, and Del Norte counties will vote NO on this “Crock 19” and instead vote yes on the 2012 California Cannabis Hemp & Health initiative. This legislation not only legalizes more cannabis for personal use, it legalizes HEMP for industrial uses as well (i.e., food, fuel, fiber, etc.). This would benefit the economy in many ways, and put local farmers and textile plants back to work. We could be a hemp exporter, whereas right now we import hemp from Canada and China. Proposition 19 leaves out crucial regulation of taxation limits and market controls. The people that make out the best are the greedy, capitalist few in Oakland, not the patients or consumers. Northern California Chapters of NORML do not support this legislation, but instead support the California Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative in 2012, written by Jack Herrer. Please do the research, don’t be fooled or impatient. The real reform is here, but it is not prop 19.

    Wake up to the elitist lie. Please don’t be fooled.
    Justice now!

  8. Californian on

    Living in the San Joaquin Valley….how things have gotten out of control with a strong police state. I wonder how the wasteful spending….prison after prison after prison how did the state get into so much trouble??? Anyways I’m seriously ill…I understand the christians take stance on prop 19 but they make it blinded. Its ok to get 300+ pills from a pharmacy to help with the pain, but ohh don’t use a flower. In reality anyone that has used “pot” knows its not a big deal. Use it for illness or for just because…its been a big fat lie taught for years with tons of fear to hate weed. If christians want to say its sin then the bible says not to condemn those who are already condemned.
    So remove the black market. If you dont want your kids learning to drink smoke and use what ever drug teach them as they grow up. Open up rehabs if you care so much but don’t tread on me. I hate this idea i have to go through a damn doc every year to get a license that i can’t afford.
    Prices are so high for any medicine as it is. And being put on some list is kinda creepy. Legalize and get control of this out of control police state. Then get the fed laws to back off. I wonder when the country will educate themselves enough first before they make choices by the news tv/radio
    (general statements are never facts). I heard a guy say ohh you don’t want some parent smoking weed all day with kids around…i said i don’t think the kids need to see you popping pills all day either or drinking …he shut up….People just don’t think. And people want to pick and choose there “poison” then point and condemn thinking there above someone else’s standard…I’m better than you…oh i don’t do that. Blame game. Substance is never the root issue. The liberal left and the Conservative right is 110% hog wash.
    Facts truth and constitutional rights!… how about that? vote yes prop 19.

  9. jsnsoc8 on

    Read Gonzales v Oregon.

  10. Datrebor on

    Marijuana was legal and I believe after states start making it legal again the Government will have to take it off the CDSA. Also Marijuana is not a drug but an Herb. As to Alcohol remember 14th amendment when it was illegal? That failed and so has Marijuana prohibition has failed. First our states then our government then international, one step at a time.

  11. Datrebor on

    What are you talking about? Majority? Really? This will not change anything where raising children are concerned. Smoking Marijuana will not make good parents bad, unlike alcohol, pot does destroy families now because it is illegal. When adults go to jail, loose their jobs, health insurance and their kids taken away. Make legal and that will not be a problem.
    What are you talking about dieing? No one has died from Marijuana unlike Tylenol which kills 750 people per year. Marijuana is safe and you can’t OD on it, it does not make people lazy or stupid, smoke enough and you either get hungry or you can just go to sleep and for those who are in severe pain getting a full nights sleep would be a blessing.

  12. Datrebor on

    This has a great chance IF we are united. We have to stand together and when this passes maybe then the Government will have to admit they have Lied to us for over 70 years about this safe Herb. In the 20’s they called Hemp Marijuana to scare people but now we know Marijuana is just Hemp so they call it
    DRUGS to scare people again and they are trying to poke holes in Prop 19 trying to defeat it saying what it won’t do which is BS.

  13. Anonymous on

    if this does get passed i will be moving to california. i think that once this does become law it will become legal everywhere very fast becuase i’m sure people in the surronding states will be moving very fast and those states will have to make it legal to. anyone agree with me??

  14. Anonymous on

    I had just picked up my new Magic-Flight portable battery-operated vaporizer and was flying back home. I had the ocassion to sit at the airport late one night and enjoined a TSA agent in a conversation. I said, “I see all the signs specifically state ‘No Smoking’. What about vaporizing?” He didn’t have a clue as to what I was talking about. He wasn’t busy due to the late hour so we got “into it.”

    I explained the difference between smoking and vaping (no combustion, temp diffs, low odor and no visible smoke). He said he hadn’t heard a thing about it and was interested to learn more. I showed him the Magic-Flight and let him look it over. Luckily, the vendor had pre-charged my two batteries. He said he wouldn’t say a thing if he saw no visible smoke. So, I sat down near him, but out of the main traffic flow, and vaped a cigarette. He watched and just smiled. When I finished, I said, “Thanks for the ciggie break.” He said “Thanks for the quick education. I’ll bring this up at our next session.”

    He was an older agent, a retired deputy sheriff. Plus, he seemed to have an open mind to learn new things. After he got off duty, I ran into him outside the terminal and asked if he wanted to try it. He said yet, tried a couple hits off the vap and asked where he could get one. I gave him the online URL where I got mine.

    Don’t talk “smoking,” talk “vaping.” It puts you at the lead of the conversation.

  15. One12alpha on

    No harm, no foul. And I appreciate you having a little humility, I’ve begun to lose faith in humanity. Perhaps there is some hope for us?

    Peace and love, my friend…

  16. Sparkky McPuff on

    Sorry! About that! Guess I was getting a little argumentative! I appreciate you taking the time to point out my error!

  17. one12alpha on

    I think you must be tripping. If you haven’t noticed the format of this comments board, I’ll explain it a bit for you. I left a comment, about the loophole I saw. Some dork left a comment about my comment. Followed by your comment, and mine. As comments are left to other comments, the boxes get smaller and smaller. Notice how the oompa loompa song is the same size as your rant? Its because we’re responding to the same dork….who I believe could learn from the oompa loompas. The very same oompa loompas who had the same suggestion as you, to read a book.

    In short, I did not suggest you were a glutton, or lazy…using cannabis or not. I was suggesting that Mr. annonymous “deserves to die” could learn from said oompa loompas. Specifically, that he has no manners, is a brat, and HE should perhaps read a book (I can only assume they are a glutton, as we all are)…and who is to blame?

    The mother and the father.

    by the way, any suggestions for reading material? I hate fiction… If you haven’t read it, I would surely suggest “The emperor wears no clothes” by Jack Herer. It will blow your mind.

  18. Anonymous on

    My sentiments exactly.

  19. Sparkky McPuff on

    Has absolultely nothing to do with pot. It was written about consumerism. It’s about gluttony and laziness! Two things I am overwhelmingly NOT when using cannabis! If you think I can learn from the oompa loompa song then you should try reading a book for once, and not a Nancy drew or hardy boys or a kids book! Try reading something with substance and intelligence

  20. one12alpha on

    Oompa Loompa doompety doo
    I’ve got a perfect puzzle for you
    Oompa Loompa doompety dee
    If you are wise you’ll listen to me

    What do you get when you guzzle down sweets
    Eating as much as an elephant eats
    What are you at, getting terribly fat
    What do you think will come of that
    I don’t like the look of it

    Oompa Loompa doompety da
    If you’re not greedy, you will go far
    You will live in happiness too
    Like the Oompa Loompa doompety do
    Doompety do

    Oompa Loompa doompety doo
    I’ve got another puzzle for you
    Oompa Loompa doompedah dee
    If you are wise you’ll listen to me

    Gum chewing’s fine when it’s once in a while
    It stops you from smoking and brightens your smile
    But it’s repulsive, revolting and wrong
    Chewing and chewing all day long
    The way that a cow does

    Oompa Loompa doompety da
    Given good manners you will go far
    You will live in happiness too
    Like the Oompa Loompa doompety do

    Oompa Loompa doompety doo
    I’ve got another puzzle for you
    Oompa Loompa doompety dee
    If you are wise you’ll listen to me

    Who do you blame when your kid is a brat
    Pampered and spoiled like a siamese cat
    Blaming the kids is a lie and a shame
    You know exactly who’s to blame
    The mother and the father

    Oompa Loompa doompety da
    If you’re not spoiled then you will go far
    You will live in happiness too
    Like the Oompa Loompa doompety do

    Oompa Loompa doompety doo
    I’ve got another puzzle for you
    Oompa Loompa doompedah dee
    If you are wise you’ll listen to me

    What do you get from a glut of TV
    A pain in the neck and an IQ of three
    Why don’t you try simply reading a book
    Or could you just not bear to look
    You’ll get no
    You’ll get no
    You’ll get no
    You’ll get no
    You’ll get no commercials

    Oompa Loompa doompety da
    If you like reading you will go far
    You will live in happiness too
    Like the – Oompa –
    Oompa Loompa doompety do

  21. Sparkky McPuff on

    Can it with the whole “children” issue. The kids are going to grow up whether you like it or not! And THEY are going to be the leaders of this world! So why not teach them to grow up with tolerance and understanding and the fact that everything that grows on earth is healthy and natural, (unlike fossil fuels and nuclear power, as they don’t grow they just polute) instead of teaching them intolerance and that it’s OK to get as juIced out of your face as you can and still be a functioning person in society! Driving or just living or otherwise! It’s ok to get juiced out of your face a few hours before work but if you smoke a joint on the weekend you lose your job and VERY POSSIBLY go to jail or oher criminal sanctions, or lose their family, if they find you with almost any amount of pot! 

    And this type of thinking is supported by the WHOLE world government? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PLANET I LIVE ON? WHAT THE FUCK? I don’t want to go to jail because I love pot! Someone find me a place I can go where I can smoke a joint in the comfort of my back yard, yet go to work on a daily basIs and just live my life without having this feeling of “uh oh I might get busted today and have a record” or “oh my God, I cannot beleive someone just got killed, whether thru black market dealings or through police (policy makers, government, reining majority[I guess, athough I thought I was in the majority]), or was just hassled by police in anyway, while I just enjoyed my cannabis for therapeutic purposes!”! Someone, find me the country or planet I have to live on to feel safe! 

    I’m sorry but the whole reasoning behind this prohibition thing doesn’t make any sense to me! Can someone, anyone, please, tell me why pot is so bad! Please! Email me! Sparkky McPuff at shaw or hotmail or yahoo! It just seems like a money grab to me. I mean if they can tax you to bust a guy with a marijuana garden, and ANYONE can potentially grow Marijuana, then the police or government can bust ANYONE just for an herb that he/she enjoys! An herb! Like tea, or coffee, or yarbe mate, or the willow tree!

    I mean is that really an issue anymore? if you want weed ,you can get it! It’s an invasion of privacy! I’m telling you! It has absolutely nothing to do with the government! No taxes no involvement! That’s it! The only reason government should be involved with any of our lives is if we, physically or sexually harm someone, destroy any one’s property BUT or own, or use fraud in our associations with others! Think about it. that could mean if you aren’t honest, you end up in hell! Or…Jail!

    Not a place for potheads! Not the ones I know either! How about the potheads you know? Any of them deserve to go to jail? Or lose their job or family over pot? If the sole reason you want someone off of the streets is because they use or possess or barter with cannabis, you need to look inside and ask yourself “What kind of a person would want that for another?”

    if the answer is you, fuck off and stay the fuck out of my business! Until I do something to personally affect your life, stay the fuck away from mine you fucking cunt-faced, back stabbing, hate-filled, cold-hearted cock-sucking bitch/bastard!!

    Thank you!

    Have a nice day!

    Sparkky McPuff

  22. Sparkky McPuff on


    show the world that California can still function with legal weed! And be prosperous as well! Good luck! It’s an easy decision!

  23. Anonymous on

    You people are thinking far too selfishly. The majority of America cannot be trusted to take care of their kids sober. Someone has to look out fo their poor kids. Legal or illegal people are going to die because of it the question is who deserves to die more? Who are we to choose that? Should someone who knowingly is doing someone illegal deserve it more or someone who is legally doing it?

  24. Anonymous on

    If you’re smart enough to know how to be on drugs and be a good parent then you’re smart enough to thrwart law enforcement anyways. Of course that probably wont last too long after some years of smoking dope.

  25. Dale allo on

    personally i trust myself with a baby far more if ive had a little drink than a little toke. they both intoxicate though and cloud your judgement. just because you can go about life seemingly normal does not mean you might not accidently double your childs medication by mistake or make some such error that you wouldnt have sober. i stopped smoking pot when i had kids i love pot but i love my kids even more and i would hate to be stoned and make a mistake. for the medical patients who rely on the stuff for relief thats a whole different story they dont have much choice whether to smoke or not so they need to have other precautions in place. really though most people in the world are idiots and cant be trusted to make the right decisions for themselves just look aroun you how well people take care of themselves as it is. great way to thin out the population though! im sort of kiding but seriously look around you the world is destroying itself if all drugs suddenly became legal do you realize how many idiots would start doing hard drugs? we’re talking thousands of innocent idiots who would have never otherwise done them but since they’re readily available they figure why the hell not. sure drugs are available now if you know where to go but ive been smoking pot for years and years and i couldnt tell you where to get crack or cocaine or heroin or lsd or mdma etc.. imagine it was all available legally in the storei guarantee it would be the downfall of america.

  26. one12alpha on

    The proposition states that cultivation can take place in no more than 25 square feet. Square feet is a measurement of area…there is yet a 3rd dimension NOT covered by the proposition. Height! So you can technically have a building that is 5 foot by 5 foot, and 20 stories high, so long as there is only one floor. I’ve seen hydro systems that stack fairly nicely up the walls.

    I’m sure there is someone willing to devise a system that suspends multiple levels of growing platforms…

  27. james on

    a lot of people consume cannabis as medicine and most people don’t intoxicate themselves to the point of being unconscious. in fact recent studies have shown that people that smoke cannabis have no trouble’s completing cognitive task. personally i cringe when people compare cannabis with alcohol because i myself see no similarities.
    now with that being said i believe the real issue is child abuse. but how do you separate the moronic selfish parents from the ones that are responsible?
    obviously if you were a good parent your not going to have a “pot party” with your children present and blowing smoke in their faces. but i don’t see the harm in having a toke when your kid is in the living room playing x box especially if you are in pain. but is this not what we are fighting for? freedom to make the right choices or the wrong choices. if we want to compare Somone smoking cannabis with someone drinking we can go down that road but anyone that has a brain would know how that might turn out especially with children around.
    this issue is about child abuse not the freedom to consume cannabis.
    feel free to disagree just adding my penny

  28. Dale allo on

    young children can be affected by the marijuana smoke in the air. I myself a grown man have felt dizzy being around people smoking when i really didnt feel like being high. obviously someone coming to your door unexpected couldnt be your fault but if there are kids coming and your house is full of pot smoke it stands to reason you probably shouldnt invite them in. is it really that hard to use this stuff responsibly? if there are minors around should you really be high? what if you’re too high to take care of them properly? i suppose if there is another adult there who isnt high that might suffice if you smoked outside away from the kid. really though what kind of sick person would want to smoke in the same room as kids or try to care for a child while being high? i’ve smoked for years and years and i’ve run into many regular smokers who go about their lives going to work smoking more than i would smoke before going to bed. they appear normal they think they’re normal but if you’re around them enough you can clearly see they are not in condition to care for a child or drive a vehicle. i love pot as much as the next guy but lets be realistic here it’s a fine step in the right direction and no law will be perfect thats why we have emendments.

  29. undrgrndgirl on

    so i would say this is NOT a “word-for-word analysis”…

  30. undrgrndgirl on

    there were lots of under 40s at the san francisco conference last year…

  31. undrgrndgirl on

    early on i was a big supporter…

    however i have a couple of questions that are not being addressed…

    1. how does prop 19 affect industrial hemp?

    2. what does it mean to not consume “in any space while minors are present”?

    this doesn’t directly affect me anymore, but for those with children and grandchildren it could become VERY problematic…the phrase “(iv)smoking cannabis in any space while minors are present”…and blowing it off as “You can’t …smoke around kids” doesn’t clarify the statement…what does it ACTUALLY mean? and won’t it make it EASIER for cops to arrest you for using cannabis IN YOUR OWN HOME? parents have traditionally been able to consume alcohol, tobacco, and both prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals in the presence of their children…why not cannabis? does this mean little madison and tyler must be tucked away in their jammies in another room? or do they need to be staying at auntie nancy’s for the weekend? does it mean i can’t consume cannabis in my apartment when my neighbors kids are out in the shared yard? does it mean i can’t consume BECAUSE there are kids living in the complex (it’s happening with cigarettes in california)? what if i’m enjoying a smoke and as the pizza delivery guy shows up and he is under 21? or someone comes selling girl scout cookies or band candy…

    i know why this phrase is in the document; it is meant to appease the pta and dare…but it can be interpreted far too broadly and in my mind could end a whole lot MORE otherwise law-abiding people in jail…

  32. Anonymous on

    Food for thought… I thought that this article from a friend would help shed some light on the new bill. My stance is NO but it is up to you to make your own stance. Though people are screaming that this is legalization it is not but mearly taxation with heavy restrictions and setting back everything that the MMJ community has fought long and hard for. Matter of fact… it is the MMJ community that has now come up with a way to fight it at the federal level with the new developement and understanding from the VA. Just take some time to read this below in which I hope it will open your eyes… that this prop19 is not in the best interest as a whole.

    [B]Though we all assumed it would not do so, it appears that either by omission or by setting new precedents, Prop 19 WOULD impact medical users in the state.

    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.[17] 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[18])—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.[19]

    The amendments she refers to were made after Comparing California cannabis/marijuana legalization initiatives was published 31 Jul 09 in 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 Mentions

    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.

    The Omission

    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’

    Dennis Peron on Tax & Regulate #1

    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.”

    Reasonable Accommodation

    Montel Williams lights up Maine medical marijuana conference

    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 for one am not voting for Prop 19, for a multitude of reasons, this one just being the latest and most egregious.[/B]

  33. Anonymous on

    What do you mean “when cannabis becomes legal in November”? You and Ed Rosenthal must be smoking the same stuff, and it must be laced with PCP cuz there ain’t a chance in hell of Prop 19 passing. November will come, November will go. Cannabis will still be illegal without a doctor’s prescription. Why it be otherwise? You guys are friggin dreaming in technicolor.

  34. Adrian on

    That’s another shortcoming of this bill. It does nothing to free the thousands of prisoners currently serving time for nothing more than smoking pot. There was a more radical bill that addressed this problem, and it of course did not get the needed support. I’m sure the author of this article would say we can’t have it all right away, but these are really the most important issues regarding cannabis legalization. Undoing all the wrong of prohibition will take more than just one legalization bill(actually this will be the third such prop in California if it passes). And we all know how much “the law” has eased up after the first two were passed.

    Nullification and Interposition are our greatest weapons in the war against prohibition. We can’t rely on the same courts who put people in jail for life for smoking weed to give us the liberty we need to make our own decisions about what we put in our bodies.

  35. james on

    I don’t think you understand
    my name and my face is out there because i am an activist in my community.
    I am not hiding but i know a lot of people are not willing to put themselves out there in fear of getting in trouble with johnny law some of these people are sick so i cant blame them really.
    I hope this is easier to understand.
    if johnny law decided to come to my home they would find nothing therefore they could only bust me on my opinions and views which is unconstitutional.

  36. Patruck on

    I understand where you’re coming from…BUT…I assume you posted that from a home computer…which in reality…can be traced back to you just, as easy as if your name or face was out there, IF the government wanted to…

  37. Dude. on

    What happens to the marijuana related offenders who are locked up, serving sentences, paying fines, stuck in the penal system, when marijuana becomes legal in November in California? What will the state tell them and when? Is there a legal structure for setting this thing right for them?

  38. james on

    I am 33 years old some may call me a poser because i stalled on using cannabis for several reasons.
    1. the police were getting entirely to interested in my leisure activities.
    2. I don’t support drug dealers that also sell other harmful substances such as crack and meth.
    3.I am in pain everyday and without cannabis i am forced to be an activist.
    I am fanatical about cannabis. I love this plant and i believe that god gave it to us to use how we see fit. if i had access to cannabis sadly i admit that i probably would not put my face out there or my name out there in the name of legalization of fear of being thrown in jail or worse prison. and i cant help but think that a lot of younger people feel this way that use cannabis they are afraid of being thrown in jail.
    please help us! some of us need this medicine and some of us are sacrificing
    being in pain in effort to win this war on prohibition.

  39. MysticGanjaMan on

    No Thats not true im 18 and im Part Of The NATIONAL.ORGANIZATION.(to)REFORM.MARIJUANA.LAWS. you can join to just go to and buy a sticker or something or just donate youll be helping us out and becoming part of it

  40. Adrian on

    You may have persuaded me. I have to take issue with a couple things though. While I understand that under our current illegal/unconstitutional system State’s bow to the Fed, this should never be the case. If California wants to legalize cannabis for everyone 13 and over, the Fed has no say. That’s the laws our country was founded on, since we are “The Republic for which it stands”, not the Central Government for which it stands.

    2nd this bill does nothing to stop the prosecution/persecution of medical marijuana patients, which despite prop 215 being passed in the late 90’s, has continued unabated at the Federal, State, and local levels. A stronger measure is needed, and would’ve united more of us in support of it.

  41. Adrian on

    You may have persuaded me. I have to take issue with a couple things though. While I understand that under our current illegal/unconstitutional system State’s bow to the Fed, this should never be the case. If California wants to legalize cannabis for everyone 13 and over, the Fed has no say. That’s the laws our country was founded on, since we are “The Republic for which it stands”, not the Central Government for which it stands.

    2nd this bill does nothing to stop the prosecution/persecution of medical marijuana patients, which despite prop 215 being passed in the late 90’s, has continued unabated at the Federal, State, and local levels. A stronger measure is needed, and would’ve united more of us in support of it.

  42. Anonymous on

    While it’s a valid point that alcohol and tobacco are legally sold and consumed, neither was ever in the CDSA. Since Cannabis is in the CDSA, they can’t just allow free production and sale of it. It’s the same as if you made a proposition to make opium legal. Granted they are very different drugs with very different effects and side effects, but they are still both in the same schedule and therefore have to be treated the same legally. Like opiates, you could never sell or use it without a doctor’s prescription. It would actually be illegal by international law to pass Prop 19, therefore it is doomed to failure. Sorry to burst Ed Rosenthal’s bubble about the countdown to legalization but it’s really the countdown to a failed proposition. Now start working on Prop 20, the proposition to have the federal government and the UN deschedule Cannabis.

  43. jeremiah on

    I’m under 40 and a big supporter.

  44. castklearr on

    I’m over 65………living and smoking to 120 if I’m lucky.


    Hell I started at age 18….rarly missed a day thanks to the marijuana god that doesn’t have a son to sacrafice for the non smoker to be saved…..huh?


  45. Anonymous on

    Is it true that everybody supporting NORML is over 40?