By April Johnson @APRILBLAKE_
This upcoming election has a hot topic on the ballot.
Proposition 64 would allow California residents and visitors 21 and older to buy and carry up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use. They would also be able to grow up to 6 plants.
Many marijuana users are rejoicing that the thought of this new found freedom.
The punishments for marijuana related crimes would also be less severe. According to Brooke Edwards Staggs’ article “Why Prop 64 is about more than just smoking marijuana” in The Mercury News:
“Adults convicted of possession with intent to sell would get six months in jail rather than two years in prison, for example, while teens caught with the drug would get counseling and community service instead of criminal records. And those changes would be retroactive, meaning marijuana offenders could be released from jail or have their records expunged if the measure passes.”
Not everyone in the marijuana business is on board for this ballot. Michaela a budtender at LeafLab in San Jose believes the proposition is detrimental for “the little growers. The ones that are actually caring for the patients.”
Under Prop. 64 medical marijuana patients would still be able to grow more marijuana than recreational users and have access to medical marijuana when they turn 18. They would however have to pay some new taxes.
“Patient care is going to get lost in legalization,” Michaela says, “The whole point in the first place to legalize marijuana was for the patients. They’re not going to be able to have access to their medication in the same way or quality.”
“It should be legalized to an extent. There should be way more quality and medicinal control for the legalization as well. They’re forgetting about it in this whole ballot.”
Michaela believes that “the monopolies will take over within the next five years.” Proposition 64 bans large-scale cultivation for the first five years but has no state cap on the size of marijuana farms after Jan. 1, 2023.
California residents will have to wait until Nov. 9, the day after the election, to find out the fate of recreational marijuana.