Sacramento, California. – On Monday, Feb 15th, the largest organization of California physicians, the California Medical Association (CMA), announced it is backing a proposed 2016 ballot initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
California Medical Association Says Regulation Would Serve Public Health Better Than “Ineffective Prohibition”
The CMA released a statement that its members believe that by controlling and studying marijuana, it will better serve the public’s health interest than “ineffective prohibition.”
Supporters of the initiative have until July 5th to collect 366,000 signatures in order to qualify for the November ballot. Already finding support in a number of entrepreneurs, politicians and activists, perhaps none more exciting than the young tech billionaire Sean Parker. Recently Sean Parker pledged to match all donations to the Marijuana Policy Project in California, just one of his many philanthropic endeavors.
If passed, the latest California initiative will allow anyone over the age of 21 to purchase up to an ounce of cannabis and grow up to 6 plants for personal use. All non-medical marijuana sales will see an excise tax of 15%.
California’s legislative analyst and finance director estimate that the state could see as much as $1 billion in new tax revenue annually.
This initiative will help to reduce the number of non-symptomatic people in the medical marijuana system, allowing physicians to better serve those in need.
CMA spokeswoman Molly Weedn said they are most interested in portions of the proposal that focus on expanding marijuana research. Something that has gone by the wayside during the federal government’s futile war on weed.
It’s pretty exciting that the largest organization of practicing physicians in California is standing up and supporting recreational marijuana legalization. Having the support from the scientific community as well as some of the most influential entrepreneurs in the country is a massive boon to the legalization movement.
Politicians would be wise to take a moment to hear them out, examine the facts, and then make an informed policy decision on a national level.
Not Everyone’s Excited About Legal Marijuana In California
The biggest opponents to the legalization movement are those with the most to lose; the pharmaceutical companies, the private prisons, the alcohol industry and of course law enforcement groups. All powerful lobbyist groups who have been buying political favor for years in order to keep marijuana illegal and villainize users.
Let’s not let these multi-billion dollar industries infringe on our freedoms, instead let’s take the money off the black market and put it into our coffers. Remember, that’s about $1 billion annually in California coming from tax revenue alone. Not to mention the thousands of jobs it will create and the millions of lives it will improve.