Get the Facts on Prop 64, California's Cannabis Legalization Ballot Initiative

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Get the Facts on Prop 64, California's Cannabis Legalization Ballot Initiative

Lynne Lyman, California Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, talks with HIGH TIMES about Prop 64, a ballot initiative that legalization cannabis for all adults (21+) in California, creates a regulated cannabis industry, and massively reduces sentences for many crimes. More info at

Highlights of the initiative include:

* All criminal penalties related to cannabis are significantly reduced or eliminated (see chart below), except for sales to minors and home butane extraction, which remain felonies. Anyone 17-years-old or younger can only receive a non-fined infraction for any marijuana violation, and at age 18 their record is sealed.

* Anybody with a California based cannabis conviction on their record will be eligible to have their record either reduced or expunged. And anybody currently incarcerated for a crime that is affected by Prop 64 can petition to have their sentence reduced or for immediate release.

* A five-year ban on the largest commercial licenses and strict bans on monopolies will allow small-scale growers, processors, distributors and retailers a chance to take root before facing competition from "Big Marijuana." And that ban on the largest licenses can be extended indefinitely if, after five years of regulated sales, the California Legislature determines that the state’s cannabis supply needs are being adequately met.

* A`prior drug conviction can not be used as a reason to deny someone a license to work in the cannabis industry.

* License fees are scaled based on the size of the business, so they’re not an undue burden on small business.

* Small-scale operators can apply for a special, vertically integrated "micro-license," which permits the cultivation of a cannabis garden 10,000 square feet in size or smaller, which can then operate like a winery tour, including the ability to process, infuse, sell and consume cannabis on-site.

* With local approval, on-site comsumption cannabis lounges will be permitted to provide safe, social spaces, free from alcohol, where adults can gather to share and enjoy cannabis.

* Tax money collected from cannabis sales will go towards researching medical cannabis; studying impaired driving; youth drug treatment, prevention, and education; environmental restoration of damage caused by illegal grows, and a $50 million per year community re-investment fund to help the communities most adversely affected by the war on drugs.

* Prop 64 does not affect or repeal any aspect of Prop 215 (California’s original medical cannabis law), but it does add child custody protection for patients, caps the fee for ID cards at $100 (with free cards for the indigent), and protects the privacy of medical records.

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