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CA Legalization Efforts Receive Guidance From Blue Ribbon Commission

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director July 22, 2015

    legalizationToday a Blue Ribbon Commission led by California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom released a report providing a total of 58 recommendations for advocates to consider as they move forward to place a legalization initiative on the statewide ballot in November 2016.

    California will be joined by a number of other states hoping to legalize marijuana in 2016.

    This report seeks to provide regulatory guidance for the state’s forthcoming legalization effort. The commission prefaced its report by stating: “Legalization of marijuana would not be an event that happens in one election. Rather, it would be a process that unfolds over many years requiring sustained attention to implementation.”

    The 93-page report addresses policy options on a myriad of subjects, ranging from commercial production to taxation and everything in between. Authors advocate that the four core goals of legalizing cannabis are: promoting the public interest, reducing the size of the illicit market, offering legal protection to responsible actors, and capturing and investing tax revenue. Another predominant theme throughout the report is youth safety. The Commissions states, “A Tax and Regulate policy legalizing marijuana use by adults has the potential to reserve sufficient revenue to provide universal access to programs such as Student Assistance Programs (SAPs) that emphasize learning skills, remediation of academic performance, improved school climate, school retention, peer group interventions, family engagement and more effective drug education, prevention and counseling programs. ”

    Notably, the report acknowledges that if California voters were to legalize in 2016, “state officials should engage the federal government, both to ensure compliance with these federal enforcement priorities and to help change other federal rules that may be obstacles to safe legalization at the state level,” signaling that lawmakers intend to bring immense pressure to federal authorities to accommodate state legalization efforts. Specific changes the report wishes to see on the federal level are amendments to banking regulations and IRS rules.

    While the report itself avoids explicitly endorsing or opposing marijuana legalization, Lieutenant Governor Newsom has been an outspoken critic of prohibition and is currently the highest office holder in California calling for the plant’s legalization.

    Six separate initiatives have been filed in California so far in hopes of legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Voters rejected legalization previously in 2010 but a recent poll performed by the Public Policy Institute of California puts support among likely voters at 56%.

    9 Responses to “CA Legalization Efforts Receive Guidance From Blue Ribbon Commission”

    1. TheOracle says:

      When California legalizes, it will be the entire west coast. I liked the High Times article on the blue ribbon panel.

      http://hightimes.com/read/report-california-should-keep-pot-taxes-low

      This other article turned my mood sour. There is no way the DEA should be allowed to pay people to a steady stream of snitching. The door is wide open for manufacturing evidence just to keep feeding at the public trough by these snitches who did NOT fill out a DEA employment applicant and did NOT get hired by the DEA.

      No money for rats!

      http://hightimes.com/read/dea-paid-millions-workers’-comp-benefit-confidential-informants

    2. Ohio I Am says:

      In Cleveland last week 6 kids went to the ER from synthetic cannabis. No serious harm but this goes to show how dangerous prohibition is. Legal weed and all this Chinese crap can be outlawed and then we can focus on really keeping our children safe.

    3. Dave Evans says:

      Ohio, I wish I could “like” your comment. It is so very accurate. If marijuana was legal, they couldn’t entice people with this, “it is safer than marijuana” bull.

    4. Julian says:

      Tax & Regulate! Revenue to Educate!

      The upcoming Cannabanking amendment couldn’t happen any sooner. Passing it through committee yesterday should calm the waters for California legislators worried about turning duffel bags full of dirty cash Tony Montana style into revenue for education, stocks and loans. And hey, let’s face it; California really needs the education.

      Sanders oughtta tour the west coast with the idea of using cannabis revenue to pay for public Canniversities.

      It would be a helluva lot more effective then Trump or Perry trying hopelessly to score points with latinos in Laredo. Go ahead and mota-vate the vote fellas (for Democrats).
      There are plenty more Americans who understand that we have domestic terrorism and a mental health crisis that will only be resolved by reforming U.S. Drug Policy and budget to prioritize education and treatment, not enforcement and interdiction. (If Trump says latinos are “rapists, murderers and criminals” then subsequently says “I love latinos… You know what? Never mind…)

      Meanwhile:
      Waller County in Texas has another hanging or “alleged suicide” from a man held for 12 hours for small possessions, right when prosecutors were deciding what to do about the Sandra case who was found dead in her cell after 3 days from an alleged minor traffic violation. Overcrowding in Houston prisons, disproportionate incarcerations of minorities for minor drug possessions and collusion between law enforcement and prosecutors for state asset forfeitures are to blame, all symptoms of a corrupt drug policy.

      A sociopath reacted to the pending sentencing of the Colorado theater assassin by shooting up a theater in Louisiana last night, shooting himself after law enforcement quickly responded. The U.S. Has categorically spent less on mental health, treatment and murder investigations as law enforcement and prosecutors focus in small possessions with higher incarceration and police violence. Programs like LEAD are trying to change this tragic fallacy in U.S. Drug Policy.

      We are not going to strengthen our border security by “building walls” or scapegoating our failed drug policy by implementing violent Jim Crow laws for police and prosecutors or imprisoning so called “immigrant” women and children who are nothing less than drug war refugees.

      “Foolish pharisee, Clean the inside of the cup and the outside will also be clean.”

    5. Just An Observer says:

      “Legalization of marijuana would not be an event that happens in one election. Rather, it would be a process that unfolds over many years requiring sustained attention to implementation.”

      Why not just Free The Weed instead of letting government “process” make a hash of things so to speak…LOL!

    6. mexweed says:

      “Probably a bigger issue than out-of-state
      migration into California will be current California farmers who cultivate other crops that may want to become licensed to cultivate marijuana, adding further to a possible oversupply of cannabis in the market.
      A valid policy approach is to try to maintain a price for legal, regulated marijuana that can compete with the illegal market but that does not drop dramatically to the point that it helps foster overuse and its associated public health harms.” …

      “The ability of local governments to adopt innovative policies to control over-consumption through retail licensing laws is important in any marijuana regulatory regime.”

      The Blue Ribbon Commission here shows a huge concern for “oversupply”, “overuse” etc. — even to the point of price-rigging schemes! Maybe some advice is needed from a Green Ribbon Commission which would suggest licensing and fees leniency as REWARD for biznesses which produce/promote LOW-DOSAGE 25-mg flexdrawtube one-hitters to supplant 500-mg-per-lightup “Joint-$moking” (Trojan Horse indoctrination of children into lifelong nicotine $lave $igarette papers addiction).

      This could $ave the $tate a ton of money– Surgeon General Report 2014 estimates US national economy cost of $289-Bil. for “$moking-related illne$$es”.

    7. Julian says:

      When will we stop calling women and children Drug War Refugees cover-up names like Central American “Immigrants?” The number one reason for latino immigration is no longer seeking better paying jobs its because THEY’RE RUNNING FOR THEYRE LIVES FROM THE DRUG WAR that not only Anslinger or Nixon’s Drug Czar created, but EVERY one of US who ever purchased drugs off the black market, failed a piss test, purchased pharmaceuticals, failed to donate to NORML or call your Congressman to end prohibition (or donated to a Texas Senator, let ‘s be clear).

      At least we can soon stop calling these women and children “prisoners” or so we hope. A Federal Judge has recently ruled the detainment centers, or specifically 2 prisons for drug war refugee women and children in Texas and one in Pennsylvania, ILLEGAL, in direct violation of a 1997 settlement agreement that prohibits the imprisonment of child immigrants in unsafe, uneducated standards.

      http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/25/426252966/judge-says-detained-immigrant-women-children-should-be-released

      ICE and Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson, who implemented the prisons run for private profit by explaining that “we need to send a better message to Central American women and children not to take the dangerous voyage to our border,” have 90 days to come up with a better explanation for imprisoning women and children drug-war refugees without access to adequate health or education.

      Here’s a thought… End the Drug War? I don’t know, there I go on my rants again…

    8. Todd says:

      You make sense to me, Julian.

    9. Andrew says:

      What about ab266? It just passed with a 60-8 vote. Get California mms patients educated about it since it affects all of California. Despite support for legalization California is moving towards making all current mmj patients illegal users of mmj. Google ab266 and spread the word.

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