Proposition 64 would legalize recreational use of marijuana though it’s illegal under federal law. How will that work?

Proposition 64 on the Nov. 8 ballot would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California and allow the state to issue licenses to those who grow, transport and sell cannabis. Marijuana is an illegal substance under federal law, which will not change if the initiative is approved by voters. Legal experts believe the California initiative can take effect despite the conflict in law.

What does Proposition 64 do?

The initiative would allow Californians to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes, and would allow people to grow as many as six plants. The measure would also impose a 15% tax on retail sales of the drug.

How can Proposition 64 allow marijuana use when it is listed by the federal government as an illegal drug in the same category as heroin and LSD?

States have the power to decide that they will not make it a state crime to grow, transport and use small amounts of marijuana. The federal government retains the authority to enforce federal laws in California, even if Proposition 64 passes, but has notified states it is not a priority to take enforcement actions in such cases, especially in states that adopt strict rules.

“The federal Controlled Substances Act makes it a federal crime to possess any marijuana, but the United State government does not prosecute possession of small amounts of marijuana,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Irvine School of Law.  “It’s a value decision that it’s not worth law enforcement resources to do so.”

Broadcast television and radio stations are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, so how will that affect the ability of marijuana businesses to advertise over the airwaves?

Because of federal regulation, television and radio stations in other states where cannabis is legal have generally not accepted marijuana ads, and their attorneys have advised them not to. Proposition 64 includes a provision restricting TV and radio ads so they are not targeted to minors, but that was only included in case federal law one day changes, according to Richard Miadich, an attorney advising the Proposition 64 campaign. 

“Proposition 64 can’t change federal law and federal prohibitions remain in place,” Miadich said.

If Proposition 64 passes, when does it take effect and when can Californians legally buy marijuana for recreational use?

The initiative would allow Californians to possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana on the next day, Nov. 9. However, the state would have until Jan. 1, 2018 to come up with a system for licensing those who would grow, transport and sell marijuana for recreational use. Supporters say a change in the law could allow temporary licenses before then but even then it would not likely be until mid-2017 that such sales could begin.

Follow @mcgreevy99 on Twitter


Medical marijuana community split over legalization of pot

Feds can’t spend money to prosecute people who comply with state medical pot laws, court rules

Common, Russell Simmons, Shailene Woodley among celebrities pushing to legalize weed in California

Go to Source