California residents are one step closer to legalizing weed for recreational use. A timely announcement from the Secretary of State’s office verified that locals will be able to support the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) in the upcoming, highly anticipated November ballot.
Over 600,000 sufficient signatures from a random sample was submitted in an attempt to qualify the initiative. The minimum number of signatures required for the measure was 402,000. “Today marks a fresh start for California, as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself,” said Jason Kinney, spokesperson for the AUMA.
Several politicians, leaders and prominent organizations, including Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, California Medical Association, National NORML, California Democratic Party, Blacks in Law Enforcement of America, National Latino Officers Association and former Facebook President Sean Parker, endorsed AUMA as a key proposal for regulating cannabis practices in the state.
AUMA Proposed Guidelines
The initiative provides a set of foundational guidelines for users and businesses in the recreational marijuana sector. If passed, the measure would allow adults over the age of 21 to purchase up to an (one) ounce of weed from a registered cannabis shop. Adults residing in California would also be able to grow up to six plants for personal use in their home. Moreover, the proposal offers greater control for city governments, when it comes to commercial distribution within their jurisdictional borders. Businesses selling pot on a recreational level will be regulated closely through licensing and registration. Analysts predict that the industry could bring in $1 billion in tax revenues annually.
“A growing majority of Californians support a smarter approach to marijuana and we’re gratified that voters will finally have the opportunity in November to pass comprehensive, common-sense policy that protects children, local control, public health and public safety, saves state and local taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, funds critical local programs, and serves as a model for the rest of the nation,” explained Kinney.
Overview of Recreational Marijuana
The passing of the measure would expand recreational cannabis laws to a highly populated region (roughly 38 million residents, representing over 10 percent of the country) in the US. California may soon join Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Washington as pioneering states that have seen success in fully legalizing the herb. Survey results from the Probolsky Research poll in February and the Public Policy Institute of California poll in May revealed that support for weed legalization from locals has reached more than 50 percent.
Secretary Alex Padilla is scheduled to make the measure official through certification on June 30. So far, other measures on the November ballot includes a request to abolish the death penalty (backed by Mike Farrell from M*A*S*H) and the imposition of new gun-control rules, which is also backed by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.