The push for recreational marijuana in California has taken what backers say is a big step forward.
Yes, the latest initiative to be introduced is one of a dozen dealing with the issue that have been submitted for next fall’s ballot.
But this one could be different.
A couple of wealthy entrepreneurs – including Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker – are reportedly backing this effort.
“Because of the deep pockets, political connections and professional credibility of its supporters…observers think the so-called Adult Use of Marijuana Act likely is the vehicle with the greatest chance of success,” writes Associated Press reporter Lisa Leff.
The measure aims to simplify the effort to bring recreational pot smoking to California, as has happened in a handful of other states, including Colorado and Washington. It would allow anyone over the age of 21 to buy an ounce of pot and marijuana-infused products at licensed retail outlets. It would also allow you to grow up to 6 pot plants for recreational use. Smoking marijuana would remain off-limits in places where tobacco use already is prohibited.
Both the new recreational market and the state’s existing medical marijuana industry would be regulated through the state Department of Consumer Affairs. Sales would be subjected to the same 15 percent excise tax. But only recreational pot would be subjected to state and local sales taxes as well. Supporters must gather more than 365,000 signatures to qualify it for next fall’s ballot.
Just last month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a package of bills to bring order to the unruly medical marijuana industry in California, in part through a new Bureau of Marijuana Regulation within the Department of Consumer Affairs.