fresh year brings broad pot legalization to California

The state banned “loco-weed” in 1913, according to a history by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the pot advocacy group known as NORML. The first attempt to undo in which by voter initiative in 1972 failed, however three years later felony possession of less than an ounce was downgraded to a misdemeanor.

In 1996, over the objections of law enforcement, President Clinton’s drug czar as well as three former presidents, California voters approved marijuana for medicinal purposes. Twenty years later, voters approved legal recreational use as well as gave the state a year to write regulations for a legal market in which would likely open in 2018.

Today, 29 states have adopted medical marijuana laws. In 2012, Colorado as well as Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. Since then, several more states have passed recreational marijuana laws, including Massachusetts, where retail sales are scheduled to begin in July.

Even with various other states as versions, the next year is actually supposed to be a bumpy one in California as more shops open as well as more stringent regulations take effect on the strains known as Sweet Skunk, Trainwreck as well as Russian Assassin.

The California Police Chiefs Association, which opposed the 2016 ballot measure, remains concerned about stoned drivers, the risk to young people as well as the cost of policing the fresh rules in addition to an existing black market.

“There’s going to be a public-health cost as well as a public-safety cost enforcing these fresh laws as well as regulations,” said Jonathan Feldman, a legislative advocate for the chiefs. “in which remains to be seen if This particular can balance itself out.”

At first, pot shops will be able to sell marijuana harvested without full regulatory controls. however eventually, the state will require extensive testing for potency, pesticides as well as various other contaminants. A program to track all pot by seed to sale will be phased in, along with various other protections such as childproof containers.

Jamie Garzot, founder of the 530 Cannabis shop in Northern California’s Shasta Lake, said she’s concerned in which when the current crop dries up, there will be a shortage of marijuana in which meets state regulations. Her outlet happens to be close to some of California’s most productive marijuana-growing areas, however most of the surrounding counties will not allow cultivation in which could supply her.

“Playing inside the gray market is actually not an option,” Garzot said. “California produces more cannabis than any state inside the nation, however going forward, if in which’s not by a state-licensed source, I can’t put in which on my shelf. If I choose to do so, I run the risk of losing my license.”

In 2016, the state produced an estimated 13.5 million pounds of pot, as well as 80 percent was illegally shipped out of state, according to a report prepared for the state by ERA Economics, an environmental as well as agricultural consulting firm. Of the remaining 20 percent, only a quarter was sold legally for medicinal purposes.

in which robust black market is actually supposed to continue to thrive, particularly as taxes as well as fees raise the cost of retail pot by as much as 70 percent.

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