California bill would have curbed drug paraphernalia retailers - Sovereign Health Group
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04-29-16 Category: Advocacy, Substance Abuse

curbed drug paraphernalia retailers

The 2015-16 legislative session of the California State Legislature should be an eventful one for marijuana and its industry. The first four days of the session saw the introduction of a total of 166 new bills, amendments of numerous other bills and the release of Gov. Jerry Brown’s FY 2016 budget plan.

Given the marijuana legalization debate having peaked in the last few years, legislation AB 261 by assembly member Travis Allen, banning sale of marijuana accessories and other drug paraphernalia, garnered much attention and controversy.

The bill

The proposed bill prohibited any individual from upholding or operating any venue of business where drug paraphernalia is kept, exhibited, or presented in any manner that goes against the proposed authorization.

The bill dictated that drug paraphernalia must be kept, demonstrated, or offered in its entirety within a separate and detached room that excludes the entry of anyone under 18 years of age to enter without being accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Even though the proposed law did not deem a violation of these provisions as a criminal misdemeanor, it did create grounds for revocation of any license, permit or other entitlement previously issued by a city and/or county, to engage in the business. It also would have led to the rejection of any future license, permit, or other prerogative sanctioning the operation of any such business.

What is drug paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Kits specifically intended or designed for use in plantation, growth or harvest of controlled substance or any plant that can be utilized to derive one
  • Anything intended for manufacturing, converting, creating, processing, or preparing controlled substances
    Isomerization devices to enhance the potency of any controlled substance
  • Testing equipment meant for the identification, or analysis of the effectiveness or purity of a controlled substance
  • Scales and balances for weighing or measuring controlled substances
  • Diluents and adulterants designed for cutting illegal substances
  • Separation gins and sifters considered for cleaning or refining marijuana
  • Blenders, and measuring and mixing devices proposed for use in compounding controlled substances
  • Any containers intended for the packaging of small quantities or for storage or concealment of illegal substances
  • Hypodermic syringes, needles, and other objects intended for injecting illicit substances into the human body
    Items, such as pipes, carburetion devices, smoking masks, roach clips, miniature spoons/vials, electric pipes, chillums, bongs or chillers, intended for consumption of unlawful substances

The bill was last amended on Jan. 5, 2016. The bill was re-referred back to the Public Safety committee with 11 votes and zero rejections. One week later, the bill’s author canceled its hearing and withdrew it from consideration. The bill was automatically rendered inactive and dead at the end of the month.

Amid much controversy, the bill was met with criticism for limiting resources for users that were using marijuana for legal medicinal purposes. California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) strongly opposed the measure and worked to defeat it. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) vows to continue monitoring upcoming bills to be aware of any similar measures that may be introduced in the future. ASA supports legal access to marijuana for therapeutic purposes and research.

Sovereign Health is a leading behavioral health treatment provider, devoted to evidence-based treatment for behavioral health issues. We aim to see our patients not just succeed in treatment but thrive in their daily lives as well. If you or a loved one is currently struggling with substance abuse or mental health disorders, help is just a phone call away.

About the author

Sana Ahmed is a staff writer for Sovereign Health Group. A journalist and social media savvy content developer with extensive research, print and on-air interview skills, Sana has previously worked as an editor for a business magazine and been an on-air news broadcaster. She writes to share the amazing developments from the mental health world and unsuccessfully attempts to diagnose her friends and family. For more information and other inquiries about this article, contact the author

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