By Ben Goodale
Passed in November with a 56-44% win-loss margin, Proposition 64 legalizes the adult use of marijuana in California for those who are over the age of 21. The proposition describes measures to tax the sale of the flowers and leaves as well.
Several students at Humboldt State University offered opinions on why it passed and also what changes might be seen in California as it comes into effect some time in the year 2018.
Art major Gianni Arthur voiced his opinion on how this proposition may affect the community.
“I think that it might shift the control from the lower level people of selling cannabis, instead there could be a focus on reputable suppliers like big corporations,” Arthur said. “Seeing the way we handle alcohol I think the marijuana industry could end up in a similar place.”
Proposition 64 states that the new recreational marijuana market will be overseen by state government departments such as the Department of Consumer Affairs (responsible for licensing), the Department of Food and Agriculture (overseeing cultivation) and the Department of Public Health (safety and quality testing).
Dane Godbe helps to run a medical marijuana delivery service based in Humboldt County and also attends Humboldt State University seeking a major in Business. He sees Proposition 64 as potentially harmless or even profitable to the medical marijuana industry.
“Well, the way that I’ve heard it talked about it seems that the measure keeps the previous medical marijuana rules intact,” Godbe said. “Apparently the recreational stuff will be more taxed, and you can’t carry as much of it at once..so it might actually encourage people to become medical marijuana patients so they are able to avoid restrictions.”
One of the main things that Prop 64 aims to do is tax the growth and sale of marijuana. Money collected would be allocated towards restoring and repairing the environment as well as youth drug prevention and law enforcement.
Proposition 64 will also make it less expensive for people to obtain their medical marijuana cards by limiting the fees that county governments can charge to a maximum of $100, with that fee also having the option to be lowered for low-income MediCal patients.
“In the meantime I think that public opinion has shifted in the state; people are accepting cannabis as a society, which could lead to many more people becoming involved in the industry and a huge opportunity for jobs for those who are unemployed,” said Godbe.
While this is good for many, there are also speculations from the other side of things on how this proposition may frame how cannabis is seen by members of our society.
Section 3 of the proposition states the intent is to prevent the abuse of marijuana by adults. In addition it is also written that recreational marijuana should not be sold at the same place as alcohol or tobacco, which would discourage its abuse by making it less publicly available.
“The thing about Prop 64 is that people might start to see marijuana as a drug like alcohol or nicotine that has little to no medical benefit and seek mainly to profit or just get high on it, which doesn’t fall in line with my personal beliefs in seeing it as a medicine,” said Daniel Lee, medical marijuana card holder and third-year Business Management major at HSU.