California’s adult use marijuana initiative, which will be presented to voters this November, has earned the endorsement of the LA Times.
The fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the United States has endorsed California’s recreational marijuana initiative, Proposition 64. Immediately acknowledging that the publication had opposed an adult use marijuana initiative that narrowly failed at the ballot six years ago, the Times Editorial Board then made a call of support for the newest proposition, which has already qualified for this November’s ballot, citing that “in the years since [the first failed initiative], a lot has changed.”
“Four states, starting with Colorado and Washington, have legalized adult recreational use, without major problems. Half of the states now allow medical marijuana. Canada is working on legislation to legalize adult use next year. And Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have suggested that, if elected, they wouldn’t use the federal prohibition against marijuana to undermine state legalization efforts,” the paper’s editorial board wrote.
Proposition 64 would allow adults aged 21 and older to legally possess and transport up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use. Adults would also be allowed to grow up to six plants for personal use. Establishing a well-regulated system, the measure would create 19 separate businesses licenses and a 15 percent sales tax would be applied to all sales.
Other benefits of Proposition 64, the Times Editorial Board cites, is prohibition’s effect on enforcement expenditures, overcrowded prisons, violent drug cartels and marginalized communities. Additionally, legalizing marijuana would hurt the illegal market, the editors note.
“On balance, the proposition deserves a “yes” vote,” the opinion piece reads. “It is ultimately better for public health, for law and order and for society if marijuana is a legal, regulated and controlled product for adults.”
The California Secretary of State predicts that the initiative would reduce the local and state government costs for enforcing prohibition by about $100 million. A report from Arcview Market Research and New Frontier projects that with the passing of Proposition 64, the legal cannabis market in California would pull in $1.6 billion in recreational sales in the first year, then balloon to $6.46 billion by the year 2020.
“The measure would dedicate the new revenue to youth drug education, prevention and treatment programs, law enforcement programs to reduce driving under the influence, and environmental restoration of land damaged by illegal cannabis cultivation,” reads the editorial.
The LA Times is seemingly not the only fan of Proposition 64. California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom has voiced his support for the measure, as well as several organizations, including the Drug Policy Alliance, the California NAACP, the California Medical Association and Marijuana Policy Project. A recent poll from the Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) at the University of California-Berkeley found that nearly 64 percent of California voters are in support of legalization recreational marijuana.
You can read the entire Los Angeles Times opinion piece here.
California is just one of nine states with cannabis initiatives seeking a vote this November. Read about the eight other states that will present voters with marijuana-related measures. You can learn more about cannabis laws in California by visiting our education page. Keep up the latest polls and legislative developments through our news feed.