Many experts consider ReformCA’s marijuana legalization effort to be California’s best shot at legalizing recreational marijuana during the 2016 Election. That’s not to dismiss other efforts, but I have definitely seen more and more activists and social media friends posting ReformCA stuff compared to other efforts.
After a lot of anticipation, ReformCA has officially filed its initiative. Below is the text of the initiative. What do California readers think? Is this something you would support? Why or why not?:
THE CONTROL, REGULATE, AND TAX CANNABIS ACT OF 2016
SECTION 1: Title
This Act shall be known and may be cited as the Control, Regulate, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2016.
SECTION 2: Declaration of Intent and Purpose
The People of the State of California hereby declare that the intents and purposes of this Act are to:
(A) Control, tax, and regulate cannabis as a legal product for adult use by removing existing civil and criminal penalties for adults 21 years of age or older who consume, possess, cultivate, or transport personal use quantities of cannabis, without affecting existing laws proscribing unsafe activities while under the influence of cannabis, preventing consumption of cannabis by children unless for approved medical use, or trafficking and violent crime by criminal enterprises, and encourage a process and additional legislation to reduce or remove the implications of prior nonviolent offenses relating to cannabis.
(B) Continue to prohibit dangerous activities done under the influence of cannabis; to prohibit conduct that attracts children to use, possess, cultivate, or consume cannabis; and to prohibit trafficking by criminal enterprises, while also discouraging the criminalization of youth, especially in disadvantaged communities, and instead focus on treatment, education, counseling, gang diversion, and job training programs.
(C) Establish a state office to regulate and license the commercial cultivation, manufacture, processing, testing, and distribution, and sale of cannabis for adult use in such a manner as to prevent criminal activity and diversion, to protect public health and safety and the environment, and to ensure that cannabis is regulated in a manner consistent with other legal agricultural products in this State.
(D) Prevent revenues from licensed cannabis businesses from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels; prevent the diversion of cannabis from California to other states where it is not legal; prevent the use of state authorized cannabis activity as a cover for trafficking of illegal drugs or other illegal activity; prevent the use of violence in the production and distribution of cannabis; prevent violence and the use of illegal firearms in the cultivation and distribution of cannabis; and prevent driving under the influence and other adverse public health consequences associated with cannabis use.
(E) Prevent the cultivation of cannabis on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers, and to prevent the illegal possession or use of cannabis on federal property.
(F) Raise tax revenues for California for education, public health, drug abuse prevention, environmental protection, and necessary strategies for safe and responsible legalization; and to ensure community based nonprofit organizations receive a portion of these funds, in grants, to advance community restoration programs, health services, and environmental mitigation.
(G) Improve law enforcement resources for targeting violent crime by eliminating felony penalties for minor cannabis-related crimes, while assigning felony penalties to serious offenses which undermine public safety, the environment, or the welfare of children, or which pose a risk of substantial diversion to the criminal market.
(H) Ensure that responsible small and midsize entities have access to a licensed market for cannabis, and that the industry and regulatory system are not dominated by large, corporate interests.
(I) Ensure that, unless expressly stated in this Act, existing laws governing the control, use, and regulation of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products operate in parallel with the control, use, and regulation of cannabis and cannabis products for general adult use, while also safeguarding the rights of patients using medical cannabis and medical cannabis products in a manner reasonably equivalent to other legal medications.
(J) Encourage the development of legislation in a manner that is responsive to societal, legal, and scientific developments, including federal legislation that will authorize state oversight of the cannabis industry, allow banking by the cannabis industry, and treat the activities of the cannabis industry the same as other legal activities for federal tax purposes.
(K) Express the will of the People of the State of California that the scheduling of cannabis be changed under Title 21 United States Code Controlled Substances Act, and to deschedule cannabis from the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act.