Marijuana Legalization Here We Come: The Tax Cannabis Initiative is on the Ballot

An historic ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in small amounts has easily qualified for this Fall’s election with hundreds of thousands of signatures collected beyond the needed amount.  If it passes, it is going to be a wild ride for growers as the effects of marijuana legalization on the prices of pot are unknown.  Some growers at Tuesday’s meeting in Humboldt County believed that cannabis tourists would come to the area eager to spend money and prices would stay high.  Others feared that corporations would sell poor quality weed cheaply and undercut the market, driving Mom and Pop farmers out of business.

If the Tax Cannabis Initiative 2010 passes, Humboldt Co. and the whole Emerald Triangle will become a uncontrolled experiment with results that are studied for years.  The initiative allows sale and purchase of up to one ounce of marijuana and allows some home cultivation.

As you know, I support legalization of marijuana on moral grounds.  It is not legitimate to deny patients medicine or adults the right to determine what substances they may put in their own bodies. I also believe that people in the Emerald Triangle can prepare for legalization in ways to make the economic results less harsh. It is even possible that North Coast life might improve under legalization though I have to admit I am worried about our beautiful Humboldt.

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  • Historic statewide initiative in California to legalize, control, and
    tax cannabis. Help build national support for the movement. Sign
    up on the website, join the campaign! taxcannabis.org

  • Historic statewide initiative in California to legalize, control, and
    tax cannabis. Help build national support for the movement. Sign
    up on the website, join the campaign! taxcannabis.org

  • Good article today in the NCJ

    I know that Lynn Jones took the photo on front of the print edition, but what I’m wondering is who’s in the photo? Is that you?

  • Good article today in the NCJ

    I know that Lynn Jones took the photo on front of the print edition, but what I’m wondering is who’s in the photo? Is that you?

  • Huh. Isn’t it already legal to get medical marijuana in California?

    • myphotoscout,

      A lot of people have conflated the two issues. Medical marijuana is legal. Recreational marijuana isn’t. This initiative would allow recreational users to buy an ounce of cannabis across the counter without any penalties. Just as you might buy a bottle of wine.

  • Huh. Isn’t it already legal to get medical marijuana in California?

    • myphotoscout,

      A lot of people have conflated the two issues. Medical marijuana is legal. Recreational marijuana isn’t. This initiative would allow recreational users to buy an ounce of cannabis across the counter without any penalties. Just as you might buy a bottle of wine.

  • Maybe I misread the initiative, but doesn’t it just legalize growing a small amount and allowing people to have 1 ounce? I don’t think there’s any provision for sales of any kind.

  • Maybe I misread the initiative, but doesn’t it just legalize growing a small amount and allowing people to have 1 ounce? I don’t think there’s any provision for sales of any kind.

  • So one would be able to cultivate in a 25 square foot space but can only possess an ounce legally? Doesn’t really sound like legalization to me. I could possess enough alcohol to kill everyone in my home. I wonder how much of the revenue it generates will be offset by the continued waste of tax dollars and resources to prosecute people possessing over an ounce.

    • Well, it isn’t legalizing in the sense that many would like but it does open up some recreational smoking to happen without criminal prosecution.

      • Then why not just decriminalize? How “ethical” is it to have big, corporate tobacco companies selling mass produced & probably sprayed mariquana?

        • Dion,

          A lot of people feel the same way you do. And the Tax Cannabis law is in many ways just that. It only allows 1 ounce and a 5’x5′ grow. Hardly enough to entice corporate grows. I think it might just be a great beginning and good wake up for the growers to pay attention to the changing attitudes that could put them out of business if they don’t think about legalization.

  • So one would be able to cultivate in a 25 square foot space but can only possess an ounce legally? Doesn’t really sound like legalization to me. I could possess enough alcohol to kill everyone in my home. I wonder how much of the revenue it generates will be offset by the continued waste of tax dollars and resources to prosecute people possessing over an ounce.

    • Well, it isn’t legalizing in the sense that many would like but it does open up some recreational smoking to happen without criminal prosecution.

      • Then why not just decriminalize? How “ethical” is it to have big, corporate tobacco companies selling mass produced & probably sprayed mariquana?

        • Dion,

          A lot of people feel the same way you do. And the Tax Cannabis law is in many ways just that. It only allows 1 ounce and a 5’x5′ grow. Hardly enough to entice corporate grows. I think it might just be a great beginning and good wake up for the growers to pay attention to the changing attitudes that could put them out of business if they don’t think about legalization.

  • Good growers in the emerald triangle should be laughing their asses off and thanking their lucky stars. They are sitting in the famed catbird seat.
    1) weed from Mexico is about to disappear. Keep in mind, transporting weed into this country will still be illegal, in fact, once state and federal governments get involved and revenue is involved, border interdiction will become more intense. Just like nobody transports illegal wine or liquor or cigarettes from Mexico into this country, so it will be with weed. It will be highly regulated at the borders.
    2) Sure, lots of people will start to grow a couple plants on their property, just like some people brew their own beer, grow their own grapes for wine, grow their own tobacco for cigarettes…or do 98% just go to the local convenience store?
    3) There already exists a remarkable, world- wide, extraordinary market/product awareness of weed grown in Northern California. That type of reputation and market awareness couldn’t be bought with a billion dollars worth of advertising. I suggest you all sit back, fire one of your best up, and smile. Of course there will be corporations out there competing in the marketplace. That’s life. If it was me , I’d grow the best, outdoor, organic weed I could. I’d package it smartly, insist on the absolute highest standards of quality, purity and integrity of my product. If you provide a high quality product on a consistent basis, market it properly, obey the law, pay your taxes and adjust your business and lifestyle according to the laws of supply and demand, you’d have to be a freakin idiot not to be able to make a nice living at it. And the best news of all?? You wont be a criminal anymore! Who would have thought this was possible 20 years ago?

  • Good growers in the emerald triangle should be laughing their asses off and thanking their lucky stars. They are sitting in the famed catbird seat.
    1) weed from Mexico is about to disappear. Keep in mind, transporting weed into this country will still be illegal, in fact, once state and federal governments get involved and revenue is involved, border interdiction will become more intense. Just like nobody transports illegal wine or liquor or cigarettes from Mexico into this country, so it will be with weed. It will be highly regulated at the borders.
    2) Sure, lots of people will start to grow a couple plants on their property, just like some people brew their own beer, grow their own grapes for wine, grow their own tobacco for cigarettes…or do 98% just go to the local convenience store?
    3) There already exists a remarkable, world- wide, extraordinary market/product awareness of weed grown in Northern California. That type of reputation and market awareness couldn’t be bought with a billion dollars worth of advertising. I suggest you all sit back, fire one of your best up, and smile. Of course there will be corporations out there competing in the marketplace. That’s life. If it was me , I’d grow the best, outdoor, organic weed I could. I’d package it smartly, insist on the absolute highest standards of quality, purity and integrity of my product. If you provide a high quality product on a consistent basis, market it properly, obey the law, pay your taxes and adjust your business and lifestyle according to the laws of supply and demand, you’d have to be a freakin idiot not to be able to make a nice living at it. And the best news of all?? You wont be a criminal anymore! Who would have thought this was possible 20 years ago?

  • Glenn,

    #1 Weed from Mexico is already illegal and it ain’t disappearing. The reason nobody brings up cigarettes (actually they do but that is another story.) is because the difference between the price of cigarettes in Mexico and the price here isn’t as large as the difference between pounds of M. produced there and produced here.

    I’ve got to go. I’ll finish this tomorrow.

    • Glenn,
      sorry about that, I had to go deal with life.
      #1 cont. if weed from Mexico to here is going to disappear that will be because the prices here drop precipitously–which is, understandably not very comforting to Farmers and Humboldt as a whole.
      #2 I agree that lots of people will just buy their weed instead of grow their own–especially under the Tax Cannabis provisions which will only allow a 5×5 area to be grown. this doesn’t allow for breeding strains etc.
      #3 I think the best farmers and the most committed will survive the coming legalization. But there is no doubt in my mind that, in spite of Humboldt’s great reputation, that the lower prices that will eventually result (see the downward trend since medical marijuana became legal) will break the back of many farmers.

  • Glenn,

    #1 Weed from Mexico is already illegal and it ain’t disappearing. The reason nobody brings up cigarettes (actually they do but that is another story.) is because the difference between the price of cigarettes in Mexico and the price here isn’t as large as the difference between pounds of M. produced there and produced here.

    I’ve got to go. I’ll finish this tomorrow.

    • Glenn,
      sorry about that, I had to go deal with life.
      #1 cont. if weed from Mexico to here is going to disappear that will be because the prices here drop precipitously–which is, understandably not very comforting to Farmers and Humboldt as a whole.
      #2 I agree that lots of people will just buy their weed instead of grow their own–especially under the Tax Cannabis provisions which will only allow a 5×5 area to be grown. this doesn’t allow for breeding strains etc.
      #3 I think the best farmers and the most committed will survive the coming legalization. But there is no doubt in my mind that, in spite of Humboldt’s great reputation, that the lower prices that will eventually result (see the downward trend since medical marijuana became legal) will break the back of many farmers.

  • What I don’t understand is how anyone will be able to make legal money growing pot if there is a piddling 25 sq. ft. limit on the size of the plot. Does the referendum item address this issue? Will there be licensed issued to approved growers? If not, I certainly could not see “large corporations” becoming involved?

  • What I don’t understand is how anyone will be able to make legal money growing pot if there is a piddling 25 sq. ft. limit on the size of the plot. Does the referendum item address this issue? Will there be licensed issued to approved growers? If not, I certainly could not see “large corporations” becoming involved?

  • As far as I can tell, there is no provision for selling pot, not even to dispensaries. Everyone is getting together and talking about marketing, tourism, etc, but I think we are jumping the gun. It still doesn’t legalize sales. I think the only thing taxed is dispensary sales.

  • As far as I can tell, there is no provision for selling pot, not even to dispensaries. Everyone is getting together and talking about marketing, tourism, etc, but I think we are jumping the gun. It still doesn’t legalize sales. I think the only thing taxed is dispensary sales.

  • not to mention that it will still be illegal under the Feds. Good luck with seeing any of this happen anytime soon. Look how long medical marijuana has taken to become more legit.

  • Ronzo, Violet and Dolcevespa

    There are a lot of issues to be worked out–Supervisor Mark Loveless in his comments to the What’s After Pot forum suggested that the Ammiano bill would be used to provide a “framework” because the initiative was vague on many points. But I agree that large corporations aren’t going to step in immediately even if Tax Cannabis passes.

  • Ronzo, Violet and Dolcevespa

    There are a lot of issues to be worked out–Supervisor Mark Loveless in his comments to the What’s After Pot forum suggested that the Ammiano bill would be used to provide a “framework” because the initiative was vague on many points. But I agree that large corporations aren’t going to step in immediately even if Tax Cannabis passes.

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