The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), appearing on the upcoming California ballot as Proposition 64, will legalize cannabis for all adults aged 21 years or older. This is expected to provide numerous benefits for the state, including the generation of millions of dollars in new tax revenue and the significant reduction of law enforcement expenses.
Of course, what matters most to Aunt Zelda’s is how Prop 64 affects patients.
After carefully reviewing the law, we believe the effects on patients will be beneficial. For one, there are many areas of the state where local governments have completely banned home cultivation for patients.
- Under Prop 64, cultivation of up to 6 plants is allowed for anyone 21 and older, thus giving thousands of potential patients the new freedom to grow.
- Despite the liberties offered by a California 215 recommendation, patients can still be approached by police and put in uncomfortable situations for possessing cannabis.
- The threat of Child Protective Services knocking on the door can be enough to keep away many who would greatly benefit from the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
- Under AUMA, medical patients are protected from child custody privileges being denied.
Furthermore, once cannabis is legal, there is no longer probable cause to search anyone solely for possession of cannabis. This includes police being unable to search vehicles because they smell cannabis. Any development that reduces interactions between law abiding citizens and the police is positive, and Prop 64 will have this result.
One of the most harmful events that can destroy someone’s life is imprisonment or a criminal record. The mental stress, and possible physical problems, that can occur from being put into the criminal justice system are numerous.
Prop 64 will almost undoubtedly prevent thousands of people from being jailed, as well as act retroactively to release current prisoners and wipe potentially hundreds of thousands of criminal records. This will tremendously unburden many people and improve their lives profoundly and immediately.
On the Friends of Prop 64 website, over 30 attorneys signed a statement reading:
“I am an attorney and I agree that Prop 64 does not override Prop 215 nor does it authorize the legislature to amend it. California’s patient protections under the Compassionate Use Act will remain the same if Prop 64 passes in November.”
This endorsement by so many leading California attorneys demonstrates that Prop 64 will not negatively impact patients, and as described above, will lead to more protections. We look forward to the passage of Prop 64 and the positive developments it will bring.