Really Real Legalization Finally Begins
On Jan. 1, 2018 the most populous state in the U.S. and the 6th largest economy in the world begins the legal sales of marijuana along with the legal cultivation and manufacturing of marijuana to make those legal sales possible.
In reality, Jan. 1, 2018 is the genuine beginning of legalization in California. When Prop. 64 passed on Nov. 8, 2016, all that became legal was personal possession of less than an ounce and the growing up to six plants by people 21 and over. That is more akin to decriminalization than legalization. True legalization begins when commercial cultivation, manufacture and sales are allowed and that is what is happening in California beginning Jan. 1.
It is interesting to note that almost all the people who are in jail or were in jail were imprisoned for selling, manufacturing and growing more marijuana then would be needed for their own personal consumption. If personal consumption and cultivation were all that was legalized by Prop. 64 i.e. decriminalization, people would not be getting out of jail as is happening now. It is only because Prop. 64 legalized commercial cultivation, manufacture and sales that those people are getting out of jail.
Further without the legalization of cultivation, manufacture and sales by Prop. 64, people who continued to sell, manufacture or grow more than they needed for their own personal consumption would be in danger of arrest, prosecution and imprisonment.
As it stands, the calamitous prognostications of the opponents of Prop. 64 have not materialized. We will see when the marijuana legalization pedal hits the commercial business metal whether California makes it to the promised nirvana finish line or crashes and burns in a mushroom cloud of disorder, disaster and dismal failure.
Many cities are betting the bank on marijuana reviving their moribund economies. Cathedral City is celebrating the imminent arrival of the green cash cow by allowing their dispensaries to open at midnight on Jan. 1 with the first legal adult-use sales in the state.
Of course by Jan. 1, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) will have only approved a relative handful of state licenses for adult-use sales so for most folks, if they want to buy in their communities on Jan. 1, they are still going to have to be bona-fide medical marijuana patients or buy it the old fashioned way from criminals.
With all the money to be made from mom & pop cannabis microbusinesses to corporate ganja entrepreneurs all shoveling tax dollars into state and local government pockets, it is just a matter of time before the BCC gets the approval machine up and running smoothly with hundreds, if not thousands of stores receiving state licenses.
Thousands may seem an overreach, but the BCC has a long way to go to catch up with the Bureau of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) which has licensed, as of 2014, 13,806 LIQUOR stores or one store for every 2,755 residents.
If the ABC can do it, so can the BCC. If they don't, then it is up to us to get our state legislators to breath down their necks to get it done and pass whatever legislation is needed to undo whatever bottlenecks are causing the BCC not to issue licenses quickly and efficiently.
California and the other seven states that have legalized marijuana are coming off of 80 years of reefer madness infused prohibition, so being overly cautious is how the game is being played as there are still three 800 pound gorillas opposed to legalization – police, pharmaceutical companies and the alcohol industry.
Wringing their hands and rolling their eyes amid predictions of mass carnage on our highways from stoned drivers and children gorging themselves on cleverly disguised gummy bear edibles, the three 800 pound gorillas haven’t gotten in the way that much - no lawsuits filed, no organizing hysterical parents to march on city halls and state capitols. That isn't to say that behind closed doors local police haven't been furiously browbeating local city councils and county board to enact bans and onerous regulations.
No doubt the gorillas will rejoice and gloat over every hiccup and bump-in-the-road (many of which they have caused) that surfaces during California’s roll out of legal marijuana cultivation, manufacture and distribution. The BCC is moving forward as fast as they can and I believe they will do their best to effectively and expediently solve many of these problems, but there are some major problems that are beyond the regulation authority of the BCC.
Where to consume is a big one. Outside of your private home and businesses where-on site consumption is allowed (and there aren’t many of them – yet), there are no legal places to consume cannabis. Prop. 64 makes it illegal to use cannabis in any public place including public places where tobacco smoking is allowed with fines up to $250.
Small growers are calling fowl over the BCC’s allowing cultivators to apply for multiple small cultivation licenses which allow cultivation up to one acre. Even so, these cultivators are large only in a Lilliputian sense, maybe obtaining enough licenses to grow 20 acres. If the small cultivators are apoplectic over that, they will go into a state of catatonic hysteria when the cultivation lid comes off in 2023 and California’s farmers cut back on growing water guzzling rice and begin growing hundreds if not thousands of acres of potent quality marijuana.
The BCC is allowing delivery services, including ordering on line, even though Prop. 64 advocates argued that the initiative did not allow customers to obtain cannabis online, but only “in a brick and mortar establishment.” Police are grumbling about that and will be badgering state legislators to outlaw delivery services claiming that allowing on-line sales will make it easy for teenagers to obtain cannabis.
Although there is grumbling among commercial marijuana businesses over the restrictions on advertising, some businesses like Weedmaps, which do not sell marijuana but merely direct people to places that do, are not covered by the advertising prohibitions. There is grumbling going on in the state legislature over that too.
Although you cannot get fired from your job for using alcohol or taking Vicodin when not at work, you can still get fired if you use marijuana when not working. To say that is not fair is a multi-billion-dollar understatement. Changing that will not be easy, but it can be done if we develop sufficient political clout.
Between the procedural and technical problems that are bound to arise when commercial cultivation, manufacture and sales begins on Jan. 1 and the inherent problems in Prop. 64, such as where you can consume it and not getting fired from your job when you do, cannabis consumers and businesses, civil liberty advocates and folks with plain old-fashioned common sense have their work cut out to redress the problems involved in commercial development of cannabis amid the over-cautiousness of Prop. 64.
In the next newsletter, I will discuss the ways these problems can be addressed and solved including what may be a golden opportunity that we ignore at our own peril. Like a cliffhanger in a network TV show, you will have to wait until the next newsletter for “the answer."
January MAPP Meetings
Learn to Make Your Own Cannabis Suppositories
The mention of suppositories always elicits guffaws and giggles, but as a Registered Nurse, let me assure any doubters that providing a dose of medicine via the rectum is one of the most effective and easiest routes of administration.
Like we overcame 80 years of reefer madness, we can also overcome a lifetime of the lingering puritanical mores about our derrieres that still infect American culture and the litany of childhood butt jokes that makes us snigger and tighten our sphincters.
At the Wednesday, Jan. 3 MAPP meeting in Moreno Valley, Kathie Zamanjahromi, a retired nurse with a specialty in oncology, will explain the advantages of using suppositories over inhaling and eating cannabis, will discuss the ailments that it is especially useful for, explain the proper way to administer suppositories and most importantly perform a hands on demonstration on how to make your own cannabis infused suppositories.
In the past suppositories were scarcer than hen’s teeth at dispensaries, but today a very limited number are stocking them. Whether they eventually take off with a suppository section at every dispensary or they are still hard to locate, it won’t matter to you as Kathie demonstrates live and in a specially prepared video the step by step procedure for making your own suppositories.
You might not need them now or know anyone who does, but someday you, a family member or close friend might find them just the ticket for treating their ailments and restoring their health.
There will also be announcements of upcoming events, an analysis of the latest cannabis news and of course the camaraderie that only takes place at a MAPP meeting. The MAPP meeting in Moreno Valley takes place on Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Greenview Medical Clinic, 22275 Alessandro Blvd., Moreno Valley 92553.
The Palm Springs and Joshua Tree MAPP meetings might not have anything quite so salacious as the Moreno Valley suppository infused MAPP meeting, but there will be discussions on what happened in 2017 and what will be happening in 2018 including a look at what happened in the first week of legal cultivation, manufacture and sales of marijuana. There will also be information distributed on a free cannabis seminar to be held Jan. 9 on the Palm Desert campus of the California State University at San Bernardino.
Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m. – Moreno Valley/Western IE MAPP meeting –. Meeting held at Greenview Medical, 22275 Alessandro Blvd, Moreno Valley, CA 92553
Saturday, Jan. 6 at 12 noon - Palm Springs/Coachella Valley meeting – Meeting held at Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon Dr., downtown Palm Springs 92262.
Saturday, Jan. 6 at 3 p.m. - Joshua Tree/Morongo Basin meeting – Meeting held at Beatnik Lounge, 61597 Twenty-Nine Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree 92252.
A delightful assortment of cookies with cool milk and juice will be served.
2018 is going to be a crucial year for marijuana law reform!
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Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project