California legalizes recreational marijuana; new taxes in the offing

California legalizes recreational marijuana; new taxes in the offing

The state of California, home to about 12 percent American population, along with Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada, legalized recreational use of marijuana on November 8, 2016. Recreational marijuana is already legal in Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, Washington and the District of Columbia. The verdict in favor of marijuana legalization shows the changing attitude of Americans towards the drug.

California Proposition 64 that deals with recreational use of marijuana allow adults aged 21 years and above to legally possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes in the state. It allows them to possess and use 1 ounce of pot for recreational use and to grow up to six plants.

Proposition 64 and its implications

Proposition 64 details out the regulation, transportation, growth and sale of recreational marijuana across the state. Some of its main provisions are:

Age factor: The initiative allows people aged 21 years and above to possess, transport, buy, and consume 28.5 grams or 1 ounce marijuana and to grow up to six marijuana plants.

Additional tax: The initiative introduced two new excise taxes, one to be imposed on cultivation and the other on retail prices of pot products. The initiative allows the state to impose a 15 percent excise tax on the retail sale of marijuana. Revenue collected from taxes is proposed to be deposited in a new California Marijuana Tax Fund. The initiative offers a breather for patients using medical marijuana by exempting them from paying state sales taxes.

Strict regulations: The proposition aimed at keeping pot away from minors. Thus, it plans to impose strict regulations concerning packaging, labeling and testing of marijuana products. The initiative prohibits the sale of the drug to people under 21 years of age and also aims at packaging the products in child-resistant containers. It also specifies that pot products should not be designed in such a way that they would attract children.

Advertising and marketing: The initiative states that marijuana could not be advertised on billboards located along the state or interstate highway. It also aims at not allowing marijuana ads within 1,000 feet of day-care centers.

Selling regulations: The initiative aims at introducing licensing for growing marijuana for others and for opening a pot shop. Adults growing, processing, transporting or selling marijuana are required to pay a fee to obtain a state license. The Bureau of Marijuana Control would regulate and license marijuana businesses. In addition, counties, municipalities, and local governments have the right to restrict the sale of marijuana and to decide the location of a marijuana business.

Barred public usage: To restrict drug-based crimes in public places, adults smoking pot in public places can expect a fine of up to $100. Minors who violate the law would be required to complete four hours of a drug-education program and up to 10 hours of community service.

As per an estimate, taxes generated from marijuana sales in California can go up to $1 billion annually. The amount generated from taxes is proposed to be used by the state for implementing the program, conducting research on the impact of marijuana on health and safety of adults, giving grants to local health departments and community-based organizations for drug abuse treatment and mental health treatment.

Recovery road map

California, the world’s sixth largest economy, will serve as the most prominent marketplace for marijuana products. Marijuana is extremely addictive and can cause physical and psychological dependence, leading to addiction. If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction to marijuana or any other substance, it is time to seek professional support. We, at the California Detox Helpline, can help you find the best drug treatment centers in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-780-2495 or chat online to know more about the best rehab centers in California.