In November, Californian lawmakers are due to make a vote on Proposition 64, which calls for the complete decriminalization of marijuana for both recreational and medical use.
Whilst there is already a new system that is being put into place to regulate those who grow the plant for legitimate medical purposes including the sale and manufacturing of marijuana products, it is thought that a positive outcome for the vote will result in similar regulations for the recreational pot industry.
What Would It Mean For California?
It is likely that there won’t be much that will change when it comes to cannabis dispensaries across the state. There will probably be two separate counters for customers. Those who are purchasing the substance for recreational use would use one counter and those who have been prescribed it will need to use the other.
Similar regulations would probably come into force as are already in place for medical marijuana too. Cannabis used for recreation would need to be tested and the sales would need to be taxed.
It would be likely that California’s economy would boom. As we can see from Colorado’s figures, recreational sales in the Colorado area accounted for 60 to 70% of all customers for marijuana in 2012. The legalization of recreational cannabis in Colorado not only increased the number of people who used the drug for recreational purposes, but the figures for medical marijuana patients also saw a massive increase. It is possible that California would see a rise in the number of medical marijuana patients too. This would be great for the state’s economy.
Benefits For Patients
If you’re a medical marijuana patient in California who enjoys simply sampling a little cannabis infused chocolate before you go to bed to help you sleep, legalization could have some benefits for you. You’ll not need to wait until your doctor says you can use it before making your purchase. This will remove the hassle for those who use medical marijuana very infrequently. You will also save money as you wont need to keep visiting your doctor to get a recommendation.
Those who have previously received a criminal penalty for a cannabis related offense will see their record cleared. If you’ve been struggling to find a job because of that minor drug offense lurking on your shoulders, you would be cleared with legalization.
Those who need to carry a medical ID card to prove that they are legally allowed to use a higher dose of marijuana for their medical needs will no longer be held to extortionate fees. The proposition would cap the maximum charge of ID at $100. At the moment, states can charge whatever they wish.
There are plenty of great benefits to residents of California when it comes to complete legalization. Both patients and lawmakers should look at the bigger picture and consider the benefits that could come from legalization before making their mind up about their position on the vote.