California’s Long History of Weed Legalization

California Cannabis history

As you do your weed delivery or any other weed-related business uninterrupted, remember there are several individuals you need to thank as the push for legalization of marijuana in California has been on for approximately one century.

Here is a breakdown of events and important matters regarding the legalization.

Breakdown of Events

The first mention of marijuana in the California constitution was in 1913 when the Poison Act of 1907 (which illegalized sale or use of opiates and cocaine) was amended to include marijuana.

The Marihuana Tax Act of 193 prohibited the substance in the USA except for medicinal and industrial uses.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 replaced the Marihuana Act with a stricter anti-drug legislation outlawing cannabis and other narcotics.

In 1972, Bay Area attorney Leo Paoli made “Proposition 19” that aimed to decriminalize weed cultivation and possession for people over 18. The proposition failed as the only legislative district that passed it was the one including San Francisco.

In 1975 Senator George Moscone of the legislative district including San Francisco presented Senate Bill 95 in Sacramento. It was to reduce possession of less than 1 ounce of weed to a misdemeanor from a felony, attracting a fine of $100. Amidst heavy criticism, the Bill was passed and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

In 1996, Californians went to referendum to vote Proposition 215, which was to legalize use of marijuana for medical purposes. The Bill was approved with a 55.58% against 44.42%.

In 2003, Senate Bill 420 was passed. It explained some matters in the California medical marijuana law. Key among them was creation of voluntary medical marijuana patient ID card, specifying the government agencies in charge of the law, and specifying scope of the law.

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In 2010, Senate Bill 1449 was passed. A short while before leaving office, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill to downgrade possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana to an infraction or misdemeanor.

In 2010, Proposition 19, to legalize recreational use of marijuana by individuals aged 20+ was made. Every major state official declined to take any side in the required vote, and in the final vote, 53.5% voted against.

In 2102, Washington and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, but California was not ready yet.  In 2013, a Field Poll showed 55% of Californians wanted weed legalized.

In 215, the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation was established to set licensing standards and fees for weed-related businesses, and dictate the growing and sale of weed. It was also dictated cannabis growers to obey all the other rules regulating agriculture in the state.

In 2016, Californians went to the polls for the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” and 63.8% of voters supported it.

The Bill has been signed into law and will take effect on January 1, 2018.

Potential Battles with the Trump Administration

If you run marijuana dispensaries, are involved in weed delivery or have anything to do with the weed industry, expect a lot of trouble as Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a staunch enemy of weed legalization.

Before his confirmation for the post, marijuana industry leaders in California and the entire US launched a huge opposition campaign and appealed to Trump’s team to honor his campaign promises on supporting states’ marijuana law enforcement. It seems there is “bad blood” between the industry stakeholders and Session, and he is likely to take use any opportunity that will come across to hit back at them.

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In an April legislative hearing, the Attorney General said that marijuana is not to be smoked by good people and it is a substance that should never be legalized. From every indication, Sessions is determined to drag back the move to legalize marijuana.

Since the federal law still considers weed an illegal drug, industry stakeholders suspect Sessions will repeal a policy directive on the Department of Justice which is known to prevent enforcement in the states or engage California in a legal battle on grounds that federal law preempts state legalization efforts.

Opponents of Propositions 64, which made it legal to use marijuana for recreational purposes, are encouraging the Attorney General to reverse federal policy that has made it possible for states to regulate and legalize use of weed of recreational purposes without federal enforcement.

As much as many individuals supporting Proposition 64 individuals expect Trump to stand by his election campaign promises. We all know he can be quite unpredictable at times. Maybe he has changed his mind?

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Comments (1)

  1. Avatar for A. benson A. benson December 24, 2017 / 10:53 am / Reply

    May be He has changed his mind. As usual Others he has forgotten that election campaign promise.

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