22 Oct Proposition 64: California Marijuana Legalization Initiative (YES)
Explanation: Proposition 64 would legalize recreational marijuana use for individuals aged 21 and older and create two new taxes on cultivation of marijuana and retail prices. Smoking would remain illegal while driving a vehicle, in all public places and anywhere it is illegal to smoke tobacco.
BWW Analysis: This is an important proposition on the ballot. Even though it is focused on decriminalizing marijuana use, it should be looked as the next step in on doing the war on drugs, that has been detrimental to people of color, especially Black bodies in the last 20 years. Here’s why:
- Prop 64 creates the opportunity for people who are currently serving time for recreational use of marijuana to be resentenced, or in the best case scenario, people are able to vacate their charges. It also reclassifies marijuana so it is no longer as contraband, which is vastly important to decreasing the amount of arrest and citations having to do with marijuana Black people are 4 times as likely to get pulled over/stopped to check for marijuana use at white people. Even though we are less likely to have it.
- Prop 64 would allow for those folks who have been convicted of selling/using recreational drugs to be able to participate in the marijuana economy.
- The potential taxes revenue of Prop 64 would go to social services. The state could earn up to $1 billion each year, while also saving millions of dollars on court and law enforcement costs.
- It regulates the industry, unlike now, where we have dispensaries all over the place.
- For young people under the age of 18 who get caught illegally using marijuana, it steers them to drug treatment programs instead of jail/prison time.