FAQ And Facts

This page was preserved for the previous yeson19.com website:

 

Q: What will Proposition 19 do?

A: Proposition 19 offers a common sense approach to control cannabis like alcohol. Under Proposition 19, adults 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, to be consumed at home or licensed business establishments. Proposition 19 will also give state and local governments the ability to tax the sale of cannabis for adult consumption.

Q: How will Proposition 19 control and tax cannabis?

A: After Proposition 19 passes, adults 21 and over in California can possess up to one ounce of cannabis. Local governments will be able to decide whether to allow for sales within area limits. If a local government decides against allowing for the sale of cannabis within area limits, the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis will still be allowed for those 21 and over within that area, but buying and selling it within area limits will not be allowed. If a local government decides in favor of allowing for the sale of cannabis within area limits, that local community will have control over how cannabis can be sold, how much cannabis can be sold, and what the tax rate will be.

Q: How does cannabis compare to alcohol?

A: Cannabis has much fewer harmful effects than alcohol, which is legal for adult consumption, and taxed to support vital services. Cannabis is not physically addictive, does not have long term toxic effects on the body, has never led to an overdose death, and does not cause its consumers to become violent. If we can control and tax alcohol, we can control and tax cannabis too.

Q: How much revenue will Proposition 19 generate for California?

A: According to California’s tax collector, the Board of Equalization (BOE), there is an estimated $14 billion in cannabis transactions every year in California, but since cannabis remains illegal, our state sees none of the revenue that would come from controlling and taxing it. The BOE estimates that controlling and taxing cannabis could generate $1.4 billion in revenue each year, which could help fund what matters most in California: jobs, healthcare, public safety, parks, roads, transportation, and more. http://www.boe.ca.gov/legdiv/pdf/ab0390-1dw.pdf

Q: How will Proposition 19 create jobs?

A: According to a study by the California Chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), controlling and taxing cannabis could generate an additional $12 – $18 billion a year for California’s economy from spin-off industries like coffeehouses and tourism. And if a controlled and taxed cannabis market operated at the same level as the California wine industry, it would create between 60,000 and 110,000 new jobs, and $2.5 – $3.5 billion in new wages for workers each year.
http://canorml.org/background/CA_legalization2.html

Q: How will Proposition 19 affect the number of people who consume cannabis?

A: There is evidence showing that controlling and taxing cannabis does not lead to an increase in consumption. According to The National Research Council’s study of the U.S. states where cannabis is decriminalized, there is little apparent relationship between the cannabis laws in those states and how many people consume cannabis in those states. Also, despite having some of the strictest cannabis laws in the world, the United States has the largest number of cannabis consumers. The percentage of our citizens who consume cannabis is double that of the percentage of people who consume cannabis in the Netherlands, a country where the selling and adult possession of cannabis is allowed. Controlling and taxing cannabis won’t necessarily lead to more people consuming it.

http://www.mpp.org/assets/pdfs/download-materials/MJ_ProhibFacts092008.pdf

Q: How will Proposition 19 affect cannabis use among minors?

A: Right now, cannabis is easier for kids to get than alcohol, because street dealers don’t require ID. By taking cannabis out of the shadows, controlling it like alcohol, and increasing the criminal penalty for providing cannabis to a minor, Proposition 19 will dry up the criminal market, and give California more tools to prevent those under 21 from accessing cannabis.

Q: How will Proposition 19 affect crime?

A: Right now our police waste hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of police hours a year arresting non-violent cannabis consumers. According to the FBI, in 2008, over 61,000 Californians were arrested for misdemeanor cannabis possession. That same year, 60,000 violent crimes went unsolved in California. According to a study by Florida State University economists Bruce Benson and David Rasmussen, violent crime increases when police are focused on drug enforcement, particularly cannabis prohibition. They found that every 1% increase in drug arrests leads to a 0.18% increase in violent crimes. When we stop arresting thousands of non-violent cannabis consumers, we will be freeing up police resources and saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year, which could be used for apprehending truly dangerous criminals and keeping them locked up.

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/data/table_05.html, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/data/table_69.html, Benson et al. 2001, “The Impact of Drug Enforcement on Crime: An Investigation of the Opportunity Cost of Police Resources,” Journal of Drug Issues, 31: 989-1006)

Q: How much money will Proposition 19 save law enforcement in California?

A: According to a study by the California Chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), controlling and taxing cannabis would save the state over $200 million per year that would have been wasted on arrests, prosecutions, and prison for non-violent cannabis consumers. According to a report by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), which provides non-partisan fiscal and policy advice, Proposition 19 would enable California to put our police priorities where they belong. The report says the initiative “could result in savings to the state and local governments by reducing the number of marijuana offenders incarcerated in state prisons and county jails, as well as the number placed under county probation or state parole supervision. These savings could reach several tens of millions of dollars annually. The county jail savings would be offset to the extent that jail beds no longer needed for marijuana offenders were used for other criminals who are now being released early because of a lack of jail space.” http://canorml.org/background/CA_legalization2.html,http://www.lao.ca.gov/ballot/2010/19_11_2010.pdf

Q: What safety controls does Proposition 19 have?

A: As the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) report says, under Proposition 19, “the smoking of marijuana in the presence of minors is not permitted.” The initiative would not change laws “that prohibit possessing marijuana on the grounds of elementary, middle, and high schools. Moreover, a person age 21 or older who knowingly gave marijuana to a person age 18 through 20 could be sent to county jail for up to six months and fined up to $1,000 per offense. (The measure does not change existing criminal laws which impose penalties for adults who furnish marijuana to minors under the age of 18.)” http://www.lao.ca.gov/ballot/2010/19_11_2010.pdf

Q: How will Proposition 19 affect driving laws?

A: Proposition 19 maintains the same strict criminal penalties for driving under the influence of cannabis that exist now. The California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) says that Proposition 19 “would not change existing laws that prohibit driving under the influence of drugs.” http://www.lao.ca.gov/ballot/2010/19_11_2010.pdf

Q: How will Proposition 19 affect an employer’s ability to maintain a drug-free workplace?

A: Proposition 19 preserves the rights of employers to maintain a drug-free workplace. The California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) says that Proposition 19 “does specify that employers would retain existing rights to address consumption of marijuana that impairs an employee’s job performance.” http://www.lao.ca.gov/ballot/2010/19_11_2010.pdf

Q: How will Proposition 19 affect landlords’ rights?

A: Under Proposition 19, landlords will retain all rights that they have now. Just as landlords can decide whether or not to allow pets or cigarette smoking, after Proposition 19 passes, landlords will also be able to decide whether or not to allow their tenants to possess and consume small amounts of cannabis on the premises.

Q: How will Proposition 19 affect medical cannabis patients?

A: Proposition 19 explicitly protects the rights of medical cannabis patients.

Q: How will Proposition 19 affect the drug cartels?

A: Proposition 19 will help cut off a major source of funding to the drug cartels. Cannabis prohibition has created a violent criminal market run by vicious drug cartels right across our border. In 2008 alone, the cartels murdered 6,290 civilians in Mexico—more than all U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in 2006 more than 60 percent of the revenue generated by Mexican drug cartels came from illegal cannabis sales in the United States. It’s time to weaken the cartels and end this senseless violence, by passing Proposition 19, controlling and taxing cannabis, and cutting off a major source of revenue for the cartels.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/02/02/us.mexico.marijuana/index.html?section=cnn_latest
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-02-26-mexico-drug-violence_N.htm
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen

Q: After Proposition 19 passes, how will the new state law interact with federal law?

A: While cannabis will remain illegal federally, we can still pass our own state laws in California. The United States Constitution enables individual states to enact laws concerning health, morals, public welfare, and safety within each state. For instance, in 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, which legalized medical cannabis in the state, even though it remained illegal federally. Also, 40 counties and cities in California have regulated medical cannabis without federal interference. In addition, under Section 3 of the California Constitution, state and local authorities, who conduct the majority of law enforcement within the state, cannot refuse to enforce a state law “on the basis that federal law or federal regulations prohibit the enforcement.”

Q: Who supports Proposition 19?

A: Proposition 19 is a common sense initiative, and people from all walks of life have come together—many for the first time—to support it. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, Greens, doctors, police chiefs, sheriffs, judges, faith leaders, labor leaders, business leaders, people young and old, are coming together to support Proposition 19’s common sense solution to our failed cannabis laws. For a list of endorsements, click here.

Q: How was Proposition 19 written?

A: Proposition 19 was carefully written by a team of ballot initiative professionals and attorneys in order to get cannabis under control. It contains strict and strong public safety controls on cannabis.

Q: How can I help?

A: This will be a major fight for cannabis reform in California, and we are going to need every supporter involved. Sign up to volunteer, contribute, and get your friends involved today on our website!

Medical Cannabis Patients FAQ

 

 

Q: Does Proposition 19 change medical cannabis laws in California?

 

A: No, Proposition 19 will not change or affect current medical cannabis laws or protections offered to qualified patients. Patients will still be able to possess what is needed for medical use, and patients, caregivers and medical cannabis collectives and cooperatives will retain all existing rights under Proposition 215 and SB 420 (codified at California Health & Safety Code 11362.5; 11362.7 – 11362.9). Section 2.B of Proposition 19 expressly lists as one of the initiative’s purposes: “Provide easier, safer access for patients who need cannabis for medical purposes.” Section 2.B also expressly notes that existing medical cannabis statutes will remain the law after passage of Proposition 19. Finally, none of the provisions in Proposition 19 conflict with Proposition 215 or SB 420. As a result, even in the absence of the provisions in Section 2.B of Proposition 19, Proposition 19 could not possibly provide any legal basis for limiting existing medical cannabis law.

Q: If proposition 19 passes, would patients be limited to possessing one ounce or less of cannabis?

A: No, qualified patients will not be subject to the one-ounce quantity limitation for recreational cannabis in Proposition 19. As stated above, patients will retain all of their rights under Proposition 215 and SB 420, including the right to possess any amount of cannabis that is reasonably related to the patient’s current medical needs. Section 3 of Proposition 19 provides in part that “it is lawful and shall not be a public offense under California law for any person 21 years of age or older to” possess one ounce or less of cannabis. Nothing in this provision, or any other provision of Proposition 19, makes it unlawful for qualified patients (including qualified patients under the age of 21) to possess more than one ounce of cannabis.

Q: How will Proposition 19 affect patients who grow medical cannabis? Will patients be limited to cultivating cannabis in an area of not more than twenty-five square feet per private residence?

A: Proposition 19 will not affect patients who grow medical cannabis. Patient gardens will remain legal, and protections will remain unchanged for patients who choose to grow their own medicine. As with all of its provisions, the “twenty-five square feet” provision does not affect or limit the rights of qualified patients under Proposition 215 and SB 420.

Q: How will Proposition 19 affect collective and cooperative cultivation?

A: Proposition 19 will not affect the provision of California law that recognizes medical cannabis collectives and cooperatives (California Health & Safety Code § 11362.775). These collectives and cooperatives will remain lawful throughout the state, regardless of whether or not a locality chooses to control and tax the cultivation and distribution of cannabis for non-medical purposes.

While Proposition 19 does not affect existing medical cannabis law, it will allow for greater protection for collectives and cooperatives in storefront locations. City and county governments that choose to control and tax the cultivation and distribution of cannabis under Proposition 19 will now have the clearly established ability to regulate collective and/or commercial growing.

Q: If Proposition 19 passes, will non-medical patients have the same (or more) rights than patients?

A: No, qualified patients will continue to have all of the rights under Proposition 215 and SB 420 and will therefore have more rights than non-medical cannabis consumers. Adults 21 and over who are not qualified patients will be able to possess up to one ounce of cannabis outside of the home. Adults who are not qualified patients may only grow in a 5’x5’ area, and will have an affirmative defense to possess what they grow for personal use in that area. Patients, caregivers, and/or collectives will still be able to possess and cultivate the amount needed for their medical use and will retain all other rights under Proposition 215 and SB 420.

Q: Will Proposition 19 result in more taxes on medical cannabis?

A: No. Localities already have the ability to tax medical cannabis. In 2008, for example, Oakland voters passed such a tax. Because Proposition 19 will allow localities to control and tax the non-medical cultivation and distribution of cannabis, it is likely to lower the potential tax burden on medical cannabis patients and collectives.

Q: Will Proposition 19 make it more difficult to become a medical patient?

A: No, being a medical cannabis patient will still remain private between you and your doctor.

Q: Will Proposition 19 attract big business and cut out the little guys, and the cottage industry they have worked so hard to create?

A: No. Because cannabis will remain illegal under federal law, interstate corporations (such as tobacco corporations and others) will not be attracted to the cannabis industry. Local groups can work with local governments to help determine regulations and licensing for cultivation and sales. Proposition 19 is also significant in that it gives adults throughout the state the right to personal cultivation of cannabis.

Q: I have heard that, despite the information above and the plain language of the initiative, Proposition 19 will limit the rights of medical cannabis patients. Should I be concerned?

A: Anyone who claims that Proposition 19 will limit or overturn Proposition 215 or SB 420 in any way is either misinformed or misrepresenting the truth. As discussed above, Proposition 19 will not affect any of the legal rights granted to patients, caregivers, doctors, collectives/cooperatives, etc. under California’s existing medical cannabis laws. California’s current medical cannabis laws will remain intact and unchanged by Proposition 19. Nevertheless, a small group of people who benefit financially from the current illegal status of cannabis may be tempted to spread (or to believe) misinformation about Proposition 19 due to self-interest. Unfortunately, some value their personal wealth more than the lives of the over 60,000 Californians who are arrested each year for cannabis offenses and who would no longer be criminalized if Proposition 19 becomes law. The text of Proposition 19 could not be any clearer, however: Proposition 19 will not limit in any way the rights of patients, caregivers, doctors, or collectives/cooperatives.Fiscal Benefits Fact Sheet

 

 

We are currently facing historic budget deficits in California. Passing Proposition 19 will put our fiscal priorities where they belong, saving California hundreds of millions of dollars each year, and provide California with billions in much needed revenue to fund what matters most.

Revenue

Controlling and Taxing Cannabis Could Generate $1.4 Billion in Revenue Per Year

According to California’s tax regulator, the Board of Equalization (BOE), controlling and taxing cannabis in California could generate $1.4 billion in much needed revenue each year. These funds could go towards jobs, public safety, healthcare, parks, roads, transportation, and more.

A $14 Billion Per Year Illegal Cannabis Market in California

The BOE estimates that there is a $14 billion per year illegal cannabis market in California. But since cannabis remains illegal, our state sees none of the revenue that could have been generated from controlling and taxing it. http://www.boe.ca.gov/legdiv/pdf/ab0390-1dw.pdf

Savings

Over $200 Million in Annual Savings for Public Safety

According to a study by the California chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), controlling and taxing cannabis would save the state over $200 million that would have been spent on arrests, prosecutions, and prison for non-violent cannabis consumers.

$12-18 Billion Generated Annually by Spin-Off Industries

According to the California NORML study, controlling and taxing cannabis could generate an additional $12-18 billion a year for California’s economy from spin-off industries like coffeehouses and tourism.

Thousands of New Jobs and Billions in Wages for Californians

According to the California NORML study, if a controlled and taxed cannabis market operated at the same level as the California wine industry, it would create between 60,000 and 110,000 new jobs, and $2.5 -3.5 billion in wages for workers each year.

http://canorml.org/background/CA_legalization2.html

Public Safety Benefits Fact Sheet

 

 

California wastes hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of police hours per year arresting, prosecuting, and imprisoning non-violent cannabis consumers. Meanwhile, illegal cannabis sales in the U.S. generate the majority of revenue for violent drug cartels across the border. Proposition 19 will enable police to focus resources on violent criminals, and replace a dangerous street market with safe, regulated cannabis sales outlets, putting street dealers and drug cartels out of business.

Drive the Drug Cartels Out of Business

60 Percent of Mexican Drug Cartels’ Revenue Comes from Cannabis Sales in the U.S.

According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in 2006 more than 60 percent of the revenue generated by Mexican drug cartels came from cannabis sales in the U.S.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/06/AR2009100603847.html

Controlling and Taxing Cannabis will Weaken the Mexican Drug Cartels

Proposition 19 will weaken the power of the Mexican drug cartels. A former Mexican official recently told CNN that he supports legalizing cannabis in the United States and Mexico, in order to stop the cartel killings. In 2008 alone, 6,290 people were murdered by the cartels in Mexico, a number greater than the total amount of American troops killed in both Iraq and Afghanistan combined since 2003.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/02/02/us.mexico.marijuana/index.html?section=cnn_latest
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-02-26-mexico-drug-violence_N.htm
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/

Put Police Priorities Where They Belong

Every Hour Spent On Cannabis is an Hour Lost on Violent Crime
Every police hour spent on non-violent cannabis consumers is an hour lost that could have been spent on violent criminals. According to a study by Florida State University economists Bruce Benson and David Rasmussen, violent crime increases when police are focused on drug enforcement, particularly cannabis prohibition. They found that every 1% increase in drug arrests leads to a 0.18% increase in violent crimes. (Benson et al. 2001, “The Impact of Drug Enforcement on Crime: An Investigation of the Opportunity Cost of Police Resources,” Journal of Drug Issues, 31: 989-1006)

Put Police Priorities Where They Belong: Save Millions, Keep the Violent Locked Up

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), which provides nonpartisan fiscal and policy advice, states that Proposition 19 could save “several tens of millions of dollars annually” and permit the “redirection of court and law enforcement resources,” and that “jail beds no longer needed for marijuana offenders” could be “used for other criminals who are now being released early because of a lack of jail space.” http://www.lao.ca.gov/ballot/2009/090512.aspx

California’s Legal System Has its Priorities Wrong

According to the FBI, in 2008, almost 60,000 violent crimes went unsolved in California. That same year, over 61,000 Californians were arrested for misdemeanor cannabis possession.