Legalization of Marijuana Expected in Five States

According to a recent feature from High Times, next year is expected to be a major year in the fight to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Nevada are all expected to have ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In addition, some other states may be legalizing marijuana through the legislative process.

voter.jpgThe marijuana legalization initiative expected to be on the upcoming ballot in California is called the Adult Use of Marijuana and Taxation Act and is also called the Sean Parker Initiative. It is named after Sean Parker, who is the former president of Facebook. Parker has pledged financial support to help the Lt. Governor get the measure on the ballot. This took a lot of work, since there were various competing marijuana legalization initiatives being proposed by various stakeholders. Other proposed measures in California are the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act, and the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative.

All of the acts that have been proposed require users to be over at least 21 years of age to possess any amount of marijuana. This shows that those attempting to legalize recreational marijuana feel that is best to treat it the same as alcohol to improve the chances of getting enough voter support to enact the ballot measure.
One of the other major points of the California measure most likely to be on the ballot is that it allows the state to closely monitor all sales of marijuana and levy a tax at various stages in the supply and distribution chain. This can net the state a great deal of revenue, as we have seen in Colorado, where recreational marijuana is already legal and taxed similar to alcohol. The ability to collect taxes on what is now very much a black market item is likely to help persuade even some opposed to legalization to vote in support of the ballot initiate. Many may realize, even though they do not support marijuana use, they know it being used anyway and at the very least the government will earn revenue off the sales.

One of the other questions being discussed in terms of the ballot initiatives in California deal with the issues of public housing eviction and employment termination. Los Angeles medical cannabis attorneys have seen a variety of cases where employees were terminated for testing positive for marijuana, even though they were legally taking medical marijuana. Unfortunately, under current law, despite the fact that a person is legally allowed to use medical marijuana with a valid doctor’s recommendation, employers are allowed to terminate employees based upon a drug free work environment policy when an employee tests positive for marijuana. This is one of the things that will hopefully change via a provision in an upcoming ballot initiative, but we will have to wait and see what measure actually makes its way to the voters.

Public housing is another issue, in that the housing department can evict a tenant for any violation of their drug free housing policy. These housing departments also make it so residents cannot smoke in their home, and since they cannot smoke on the street, this is creating unnecessary problems.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:

Radical Rant: How the Next 5 Legal Marijuana States Differ From the Current 4 Legal States for Consumers, December 8, 2015, High Times, Russ Belville
More Blog Entries:

New Monthly Delivery Service for High Quality Medical Marijuana in California, July 20, 2015, Riverside Marijuana
Criminal Defense Attorney Blog