Marijuana legalization will be on the California ballot in November. Now known as Prop. 64, the ballot initiative would license, tax and regulate recreational use of marijuana. Buyers would pay a 15% sales tax, and suppliers would pay a cultivation tax. Estimates are that the state will raise $1 billion a year in total marijuana sales tax revenue.
California is huge. If it were its own country, California would have the sixth biggest GDP in the world, about the same as Great Britain. Polling released by the Public Policy Institute show that 60% of Californians favor legalization, while only 37% oppose.
Arizona, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan and Montana are slated to vote on recreational marijuana too. Florida, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma will vote on medical marijuana programs.
Other states are stuck in neutral, or moving backwards. Texas, Louisiana, and Virginia are among the worst states to be caught with pot. Texas leads the nation in marijuana arrests was over 77,000 annually, 97% of which are for simple possession. Louisiana, with over 19,000 pot arrests annually, sentenced a man, Cornell Hood, to life in prison, as an habitual drug offender, for his third marijuana offense.
In Virginia, marijuana possession arrests rose 76% between 2003 and 2013, with blacks arrested at 3.3 times the rate of white Virginians.
Fairfax County, Virginia is the worst local jurisdiction for weed. According to the Washington Post, Fairfax prosecutions have more than doubled in the past 14 years, during a time when the county’s population rose by 17%.
Activists hope that the November 8th election will send a clear message, not only in California, but across the nation. It’s time to legalize weed.
Zukerberg & Halperin, PLLC is a law firm in our nation’s capital.
Categories: Marijuana Laws