It’s Up to You – Frances Talbott-White

No matter where you stand on the legalization of marijuana, you’ve gotta love Prop 19 for focusing more people’s attention on the November 2 Gubernatorial Election ballot.

Prop 19 is probably the easiest ballot measure we have in this election, but I feel compelled to explain something about the taxing and regulation that would become legal along with personal possession and cultivation.

If everyone were to grow their own marijuana (and up to 25 square feet of personal cultivation would be legal under Prop 19), the fiscal impact would be nil — except insofar as pressure is taken off our jails and prisons (an outcome to be expected to a certain extent as a result of SB 1449, which makes possession of less than an ounce an infraction rather than a misdemeanor).

It is only when non-medical commercial ventures open up a marijuana trade that taxes will begin to be collected and the windfall of new revenues predicted by many observers will start to roll in. But wait! The only places where that could happen will be cities and counties that already have commercial regulations and tax laws for marijuana in effect. Long Beach and La Puente, for example, are getting a head start by placing local measures on their November 2 ballots.

Long Beach’s Measure B will impose a 15% tax on non-medical marijuana sales, with revenues going into the city’s General Fund. La Puente’s Measure M will bring in 10%. Because they pertain to general (not special) taxes, these measures require only a simple majority to pass.

Of course some cities, and possibly the state, are holding back until they see how the Federal government rules on Prop 19, but as we learned in Girl Scouts, there’s much to be said for BEING PREPARED. Folks will flock to Long Beach and La Puente if Prop 19, Measure B, and Measure M become law.

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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