Supporters of a third marijuana legalization proposal in California have been green-lit to begin collecting signatures on a bill that would save the state hundreds of millions of dollars every year on enforcement as well as generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for the cash-strapped state.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris gave the Marijuana Control, Revenue and Legalization Act approval (as well as a name and ballot summary) Dec. 24.
The MCRLA, as it is now being called, would legalize the use, cultivation and possession of cannabis by adults 21 and up, though the measure doesn’t set any limits on cultivation, possession, sales or distribution. Instead, it tasks that to a Cannabis Control Commission of seven governor-appointed members from the state public health, food and agriculture and alcoholic beverage commissions as well as a medical marijuana doctor, a criminal defense attorney and two state medical marijuana patients.
The bill would allow for-profit sales, something that California medical marijuana law prohibits. The bill also has provisions stating that cannabis alone would not be a reason to take children from parents, nor would businesses be able to discriminate against cannabis users for their off-duty toking or brownie-eating. Tax revenue would go towards education and health care funds as well as 20 percent to fire, police and sheriff’s offices.
Maybe most interesting is the summary language written by Harris after reviewing the language of the proposal, specifically language showing that the state would save hundreds of millions of dollars every year prosecuting low-level marijuana crimes the bill would make legal.
Supporters now have until May 23 to collect 504,760 signatures to get the initiative on the 2014 ballot.
The MCRLA website has the full text of the ballot language.