Yesterday California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law California’s first set of complete regulations for medical marijuana. This group of three laws—considered by some as a future framework for the legalization of recreational marijuana–would found a Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation and manage various activities such as cultivation and dispensary licensing.
In a statement Brown said the legislation, which goes into effect in 2018, will “establish a long-overdue comprehensive regulatory framework for the production, transportation and sale of medical marijuana.”
The law will regulate the cultivation of marijuana. Currently this occurs on secret “gray market farms” that divert water from California’s forests. The laws will also necessitate that California agriculture and tax officials create a method of tracing both the sale and the development of all marijuana products which are still all illegal under federal law.
Assemblyman Jim Wood, a Democrat who authored one of the bills stated: “It was the votes for legalization that kind of opened the gates so to speak to have some more significant discussions around the issue.”
Lauren Vazquez, a spokeswoman for the Marijuana Policy Project which strives to legalize marijuana for adults, notes that they are presently editing proposed state ballot initiatives in order to fit in with these new laws.
Jack S. Chesney, freelance writer and self-professed pot pundit says: “California leads and others will follow. Anyone who has followed all the stories knows that other than the dangers that have and always will exist with smoking anything most of the trouble here is that we have yet to see legislation that will regulate marijuana in terms of quality cultivation, proper testing and accurate labeling. We’ve had this conversation for years, haven’t we?”
Marijuana opponents claim the new laws actually systemize an industry they view as advocating “potentially dangerous drug use”. Kevin Sabet, co-founder of the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which is against the legalization of recreational marijuana, is doubtful of California’s present medical marijuana conditions because it isn’t difficult to get a physician’s recommendation.
Furthermore, medical marijuana is frequently smoked which is also the way recreational users enjoy it. There is also a “Not-in-my-Backyard” aspect to it as well. Sabet concludes: “People do not want marijuana stores in their communities.”
California Sets New Rules For Medical Marijuana