Citing marijuana ‘mess,’ Sen. Mike McGuire opposes California’s faulty Proposition 64

The Press Democrat
Guy Kovner

Two decades ago, Californians voted to become the first state in the nation to allow use of medical marijuana. A cannabis trade now worth billions of dollars sprouted, linking growers in the famed Emerald Triangle and those closer to home on the North Coast with dispensaries and consumers buying an ever wider array of pot products…

…As one of the authors of the landmark medical cannabis law approved last year and scheduled for implementation in 2018, McGuire said he will vote against Proposition 64. He favors legalization, but said the proposed law is coming before the state has a handle on medical cannabis. He also faulted it for allowing marijuana gardens of unlimited size, starting in 2023.

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No on Prop 64: Just too many risks and unknowns

The Press Democrat
BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Give Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom credit. He speaks with passion, particularly on issues of social justice. And, to him, that’s what Proposition 64 is all about.

During a meeting with The Press Democrat Editorial Board Tuesday, Newsom said of the 8,800 arrests for non-violent marijuana felonies last year, a disproportionate number of them involved African-Americans and Latinos: “We are still arresting and incarcerating folks that don’t look like me.”

It’s a compelling argument, one that underscores many of the inequalities of the criminal justice system. But it’s not enough to warrant the acceptance of a poorly worded ballot proposition that opens the door to a number of social problems and unknowns — and potentially puts local growers at a competitive disadvantage in a world where the recreational use of marijuana is legal.

We accept that legalization is probably an inevitability in California. But this is neither the right time nor the right proposition to make that happen. Here are several reasons why.

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Say no to Prop. 64

The Porterville Recorder
Editorial Board

Proposition 64 on the Nov. 8 ballot would legalize the use of marijuana for recreation purposes. We recommend a no vote.

While California appears heading toward the legalization of marijuana beyond using it for medical purposes, Prop. 64 is wrought with problems that could greatly burden law enforcement and possibly create more issues than the laws we have today against the use and possession of marijuana.

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Money and marijuana: Donors with ties to industry give to legalize pot

The Sacramento Bee
by Christopher Cadelago and Jim Miller

Justin Hartfield, former chief executive of a company called Weedmaps, two years ago discussed his plans to legalize marijuana nationwide and make his company the Philip Morris of pot.

“Prohibition is about to pop,” he predicted in The Wall Street Journal. “And the people that were here before, if they’re positioned intelligently, will reap a profit. I think we’re positioned really well.”

Proposition 64’s passage would create a burgeoning new economy in California, from growing operations to delivery services, and those who stand to profit are pitching in to ensure it succeeds. Weedmaps, which helps connect cannabis users with dispensaries, delivery services and doctors, has given $1 million to the fall effort to legalize marijuana in California.

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Could legal marijuana make L.A.’s homeless crisis even worse?

The Los Angeles Times
by Joel Warner

Faced with an intractable and growing homeless crisis, two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors made a bold and largely unprecedented move: It approved a November ballot measure that would impose a 10% tax on gross receipts of medical marijuana as well as recreational marijuana businesses, if statewide legalization passes at the polls, to help fund the estimated $450 million a year the county needs for homeless housing and services.

It didn’t take long for the measure to face criticism. The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board worried that the levy, combined with other taxes imposed on recreational marijuana, “could push up the price of pot so much that customers and suppliers return to the black market” — defeating the purpose of legalization in the first place.

But there’s also a philosophical question to ponder: Cigarette “sin taxes” usually go to anti-smoking efforts. Casino taxes fund gambling-addiction programs. Why should a similar tax on cannabis go to homeless services? What does marijuana have to do with homelessness in the first place?

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