Proposition 64: Marijuana Legalization.
Should marijuana be legalized in California for use by adults who are age 21 years or older?
Currently, it is illegal in California to cultivate or use marijuana except that marijuana may be used by individuals of any age for medical purposes if recommended by a doctor. Federal law prohibits the possession or use of marijuana, even for medical purposes, but the federal government has chosen not to prosecute individuals or businesses if they are following state or local marijuana laws that are consistent with federal priorities, such as preventing minors from using marijuana.
Under current law, a person who possesses less than one ounce of marijuana (the same as about 40 marijuana cigarettes) could be fined. Selling or growing marijuana could mean jail or prison if convicted. The state is currently beginning to regulate and set standards for medical marijuana use.
- Proposition 64 would legalize marijuana for adults age 21 years or older.
- A tax of 15% on retail sales of marijuana and a cultivation tax of $9.25 per ounce of flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves would be levied, in addition to the current sales tax imposed on all retail sales. Medical marijuana would be exempt from some but not all taxation. Proposition 64 would establish specific ways in which the use of such taxes would be allocated.
- Proposition 64 names state agencies to license and regulate the marijuana industry and also allows local regulation and taxation of marijuana.
- Proposition 64 would impose advertising and labeling standards and restrictions for marijuana products and would prohibit marketing and advertising directly to minors.
- Proposition 64 also permits re-sentencing of individuals previously convicted for activities now made legal, and destruction of records for prior marijuana convictions.
Proposition 64 could bring in net state and local revenues that range from the high hundreds of millions of dollars to over one billion dollars annually but the amounts depend on how state and local governments regulate and tax marijuana, whether the federal government enforces federal laws regulating marijuana and how marijuana prices and consumption change. Proposition 64 could reduce government costs by tens of millions of dollars annually because of the decline of marijuana offenders now in state prisons and county jails.