Californians have led the charge on marijuana legalization for decades, but even though both medical and recreational cannabis are legal in the state, the fight is not yet over. What can you do to help further marijuana legalization? As it turns out, quite a lot.
The passage of Proposition 64 and its predecessor, The Compassionate Use Act of 1996, were both clear examples of how civic participation could change the narrative for marijuana in California and the rest of the country. Many thought after those laws were passed, their work would be done. After all, California now has some of the most robust marijuana legalization efforts in the whole country.
For many in the state, however, it might barely feel like it’s legal at all. As our skilled attorneys can explain, that is because of parameters built into state law that allow local jurisdictions to enforce their own regulations or bans. Cities are not allowed to ban personal use or small personal grows in residents’ own homes, but everything else is pretty much fair game. Many cities have no sales and no cultivation … they won’t even allow testing labs or processing facilities within city lines. In fact, 40 percent of Californians have to drive at least 60 miles to find a legal dispensary. This simply is not a reflection of the will of the people.As we enter election season, this is an opportune time to talk to your representatives at every level. Even those who are politically engaged often forget how much impact their city councilors and county officials can have on their lives. Do a little homework on who your officials are in your precinct, especially those who are up for re-election this year.
If you live in a city where there are still strict cannabis bans in place, talk to your councilor or local representative about their stance on marijuana. Remain civil, calm, and open to listen to your councilor’s point of view. If they are against marijuana legalization, listen to their reasons why. This is an excellent opportunity to use the plentiful resources on all the benefits of cannabis to help educate and work around some of the many emotion-based hurdles that exist around the issue of marijuana.
Maybe you live in an area with ample cannabis liberties. This is a chance to set your sites on national representatives. Cannabis Voter Project offers a list of all of your representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and where they stand on the issues most important to the cannabis industry. Remember, even the staunchest anti-marijuana politicians, such as John Boehner, have flipped over time when presented with the best information. For Boehner, it was the discovery of how many veterans preferred medical marijuana treatment over the many other options they had at their disposal. Taking time to understand where there are still misconceptions about marijuana is the key to bridging the gap.
Our experienced Riverside marijuana attorneys know how important it is to have strong advocates fighting for your rights as a cannabis user or business owner. We work hard every day to strengthen the cannabis business community in Southern California and defend people just like you in court. We need that same strong support in our city councils, state offices and federal government branches.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
California’s ‘Pot Desert’ Problem, May 18, 2018, Green Entrepreneur
More Blog Entries:
Marijuana Wins Big on Election Night, Nov. 10, 2016, Cannabis Law Group