So, thanks to our frequently erratic initiative system, in November Californians will be voting on whether to remove many legal prohibitions of marijuna. In brief, the initiative would make possession of small amounts of marijuana legal and would allow cities to decide whether to make limited sales legal. here's the heart of the quite detailed and complex initiative:
Section 3: Lawful Activities
Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, commencing with section 11300 is added to read:
Section 11300: Personal Regulation and Controls
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it is lawful and shall not be a public offense under California law for any person 21 years of age or older to:
(i) Personally possess, process, share, or transport not more than one ounce of cannabis, solely for that individual’s personal consumption, and not for sale.
(ii) Cultivate, on private property by the owner, lawful occupant, or other lawful resident or guest of the private property owner or lawful occupant, cannabis plants for personal consumption only, in an area of not more than twenty-five square feet per private residence or, in the absence of any residence, the parcel. Cultivation on leased or rented property may be subject to approval from the owner of the property. Provided that, nothing in this section shall permit unlawful or unlicensed cultivation of cannabis on any public lands.
(iii) Possess on the premises where grown the living and harvested plants and results of any harvest and processing of plants lawfully cultivated pursuant to section 11300(a)(ii), for personal consumption.
(iv) Possess objects, items, tools, equipment, products and materials associated with activities permitted under this subsection.
(b) “Personal consumption” shall include but is not limited to possession and consumption, in any form, of cannabis in a residence or other non-public place, and shall include licensed premises open to the public authorized to permit on-premises consumption of cannabis by a local government pursuant to section 11301.
(c) “Personal consumption” shall not include, and nothing in this Act shall permit cannabis:
(i) possession for sale regardless of amount, except by a person who is licensed or permitted to do so under the terms of an ordinance adopted pursuant to section 11301;
(ii) consumption in public or in a public place;
(iii) consumption by the operator of any vehicle, boat or aircraft while it is being operated, or that impairs the operator;
(iv) smoking cannabis in any space while minors are present.
Section 11301: Commercial Regulations and Controls
Notwithstanding any other provision of state or local law, a local government may adopt ordinances, regulations, or other acts having the force of law to control, license, regulate, permit or otherwise authorize, with conditions, the following:
(a) cultivation, processing, distribution, the safe and secure transportation, sale and possession for sale of cannabis, but only by persons and in amounts lawfully authorized;
(b) retail sale of not more than one ounce per transaction, in licensed premises, to persons 21 years or older, for personal consumption and not for resale;
(c) appropriate controls on cultivation, transportation, sales, and consumption of cannabis to strictly prohibit access to cannabis by persons under the age of 21;
(d) age limits and controls to ensure that all persons present in, employed by, or in any way involved in the operation of, any such licensed premises are 21 or older;
(e) consumption of cannabis within licensed premises;
(f) safe and secure transportation of cannabis from a licensed premises for cultivation or processing, to a licensed premises for sale or on-premises consumption of cannabis;
(g) prohibit and punish through civil fines or other remedies the possession, sale, possession for sale, cultivation, processing, or transportation of cannabis that was not obtained lawfully from a person pursuant to this section or section 11300;
(h) appropriate controls on licensed premises for sale, cultivation, processing, or sale and on-premises consumption, of cannabis, including limits on zoning and land use, locations, size, hours of operation, occupancy, protection of adjoining and nearby properties and persons from unwanted exposure, advertising, signs and displays, and other controls necessary for protection of the public health and welfare;
(i) appropriate environmental and public health controls to ensure that any licensed premises minimizes any harm to the environment, adjoining and nearby landowners, and persons passing by;
(j) appropriate controls to restrict public displays, or public consumption of cannabis;
(k) appropriate taxes or fees pursuant to section 11302;
(l) such larger amounts as the local authority deems appropriate and proper under local circumstances, than those established under section 11300(a) for personal possession and cultivation, or under this section for commercial cultivation, processing, transportation and sale by persons authorized to do so under this section;
(m) any other appropriate controls necessary for protection of the public health and welfare.
There's a huge amount to discuss here. Let me just mention a few reasons why I think this will provoke a worthwhile discussion:
1. Whether or not it passes, it will inspire further discussion of federalist issues — specifically, whether the federal government should be in the business of regulating a recreational drug when a state has decided to legalize it. This initiative would force that issue to a far greater extent and on a much larger scale than the various medical marijuana initiatives. It may even provide the political cover to have a more serious discussion of decriminalization on a national level (especially because the forces arrayed against decriminalization may be distracted by WHARGBARGL on other issues).
2. Whether or not it passes, it provides an excellent opportunity for discussing fundamental libertarian principles — like to what extent the government should regulate personal drug use.
3. It will provide a great opportunity for spin-off laws that harness public paranoia about drugs to further libertarian principles. Imagine, for instance, a law that provides that no private property owner, individual or commercial, is required to allow marijuana use on its premises. That makes a point about private property while satisfying the OMG THINK OF THE CHIIILDRUUN faction. Or imagine a law that says that nothing in California law should be construed to prevent employers from firing employees for being under the influence of marijuana on the job — a provision which would cater to drug paranoia whilst subtly undermining the increasingly unreasonable restrictions on termination of employees. These provisions would not be popular with some marijuana users — but they promote libertarian ideas and the discussion thereof.
How else can we use this as an opportunity not just to achieve a specific freedom [one, incidentally, in which I do not plan to indulge], but to promote broader discussions of freedom?
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Hate Speech Debate on More Perfect Live - September 5th, 2017
- Popehat Goes To The Opera: Un ballo in maschera - August 19th, 2017
- Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site - August 14th, 2017
- America At The End of All Hypotheticals - August 14th, 2017
- Lawsplainer: Why John Oliver Is Anti-Diversity Now - August 11th, 2017