By Raequan Harrison |Staff Writer|
Gov. Jerry Brown is advocating for new bills to govern medical marijuana laws.
Three bills were approved to the ballot this past week that propose reform in the medical marijuana industry.
According to thecannabist.com, “The California medical marijuana legislation includes separate licenses for indoor and outdoor cultivation, transportation, product testing, distribution and dispensaries of different sizes.It also charges various state agencies to develop guidelines for packaging, potency, pesticide use and advertising.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, an estimated 1,250 medical marijuana dispensaries are operating in the state, with sales of about $1.3 billion.
United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council Executive Director Jim Araby stated, “Voters are poised to decide on legalizing recreational cannabis in 2016. It was vitally important that California establish a regulatory framework first.”
Medical marijuana has long been legalized in 1996.
Proposition 215 states, in section HS 11362.5 (A) of “The California Compassionate Act,” all Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraines or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.
Student Teuila Palm believes that “Medical marijuana is a fancy term our government has created to take away the stigma of the drug and it seems as if all those who smoke have suddenly become chronically ill. This new proposal will simply be ink on a piece of paper because it has no foundation. There is no true way of ‘tracking’ who is buying and selling.”
Chair of the economics department Professor Mayo Toruno, stated “Since cannabis consumption is a reality throughout the state, imposing regulations that ensure the product is clean and does not pose health hazards (like having animal feces or insecticides in it) is a good thing.The Bill takes the industry (both its production and consumption) out of the realm of criminality and puts it in the mainstream.”
“The passing of the medical marijuana law in 1996 had already moved the state closer to this favorable state of affairs, but not enough. So, this legislation takes us a bit closer to complete legalization and, in the process, taking away the incentive for organized crime to enter the business,”continued Toruno.
\“This new structure will make sure patients have access to medical marijuana, while ensuring a robust tracking system, this sends a clear signal to our federal counterparts that California is implementing robust controls not only on paper, but in practice,” said Brown in a signing statement.