Sean Parker co-founded Facebook. He founded Naptser, one of the first online file-sharing sites. Now Parker and his billions are behind the Adult Use Marijuana Act (AUMA) for the November ballot. But opponents of Parker’s initiative say it is more about commerce than it is about decriminalizing pot in California.
A 62-page regulatory nightmare”.
This is how Mickey Martin of ReformCA.org describes the initiative. He describes Parker and others behind AUMA as prohibitionists masquerading as legalization advocates. The takeaway from Martin’s post is AUMA is all about money and has nothing to do with the history of the legalization efforts in California. Martin has issued a call to arms against the act, saying, AUMA “is our Little Big Horn, and Parker is our General Custer.”
A revenue stream
Proponents of the act point out it will generate millions in tax revenue and eliminate drug dealers. They point to the tax windfalls Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington enjoy as a result of legalized marijuana. Colorado took in $44 million in the first year, while Washington collected $70 million.
According to the initiative, effective Jan. 1, 2018 (provided the act passes), an excise tax of 15 percent will be imposed on marijuana products. California’s current sale tax is 7.5 percent. If passed, the initiative will make it legal for a person 21 and older to grow no more than six plants. But the state will levy a $9-an-ounce cultivation tax and nearly $3 in taxes on leaves.
PriceofWeed.com keeps statistics on the cost of marijuana in the U.S. The average cost of an ounce of high-quality pot in Washington is about $233; medium grade goes for around $188. The cost for the same grades in California is $246 and $195, respectively. Martin and other opponents of AUMA argue the initiative will do nothing to eliminate the illegal market for pot because all of the initiative’s provisions relating to administrative costs will eventually make legalized marijuana too expensive, thereby driving consumers back to dealers.
The purpose of legalization
Opponents of AUMA argue the initiative defeats the spirit of legalization. They point out California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use in 1996. ReformCA.org believes legalization is about equality, not taxes. Alcohol has no true medicinal value, while marijuana helps individuals with cancer, glaucoma, HIV and other illnesses. In 2013, the Department of Motor Vehicles notes nearly 1,200 people died in alcohol-related automobile crashes. And despite the fact fatal crashes involving weed have increased exponentially, proponents of legalization maintain it is pure hypocrisy for alcohol to be legal but for marijuana to be illegal. While Parker and his cohorts look to legalization into a mecca for microbusinesses, ReformCA.org wants California adults to have the freedom to grow and smoke or not.
Sovereign Health Group treats marijuana addiction. Contrary to popular belief, people do get addicted to pot. Addiction is addiction. When a substance interferes with a person’s life, it is a problem. We are experts in treating substance abuse and mental illness. If you have a problem with marijuana or any other drug, we can help. Contact our 24/7 helpline to find out what we can do for you.
About the author:
Darren Fraser is a content writer for Sovereign Health Group. He worked two and half years as reporter and researcher for The Yomiuri Shimbun until they realized he did not read, speak or write Japanese and fired him. Undeterred, he channels his love of research into unearthing stories that provide hope to those dealing with addiction and mental illness. Darren loves the Montreal Canadiens hockey club and horror films and would prefer to enjoy these from the comforts of his family’s farm in Quebec. For more information about this media, contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.