The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act isn’t made up from a novel but an actual initiative supporters are collecting signatures for to be placed on the upcoming ballot in California. Co-author of the measure is Steve Kubby, who also helped draft and promote Proposition 215, California’s first medical cannabis law. Basically the measure amends decriminalization for marijuana in California for those over the age of 21 and exemption from permitting fees of growing and cultivation of up to 12 plants per land parcel using grape and wine industry standards. Growers selling cannabis products would be taxed and regulated under state rules that currently apply to wine. An exception was made for hemp products with no hallucinogenic properties.
If you’re going to treat it like wine, you have to have an exemption for people who make their own wine or make their own cannabis,” Kubby said. “Now, if they sell it, then they have to pay tax on it. The intent really is for your own stash at home.”
What’s cool about this initiative is the state tells the federal government if they want to go after anyone on marijuana charges, it will be all by themselves. We know federal law will always trump state laws but the Feds will have to go in front of a jury of Californians to get any convictions which might prove costly and difficult.
While The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act prohibits commercial advertising for the sale or use of marijuana, it exempts medical cannabis. The initiative explicitly states that it would “not repeal, modify, or change” Prop. 215 or any related laws.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office said that depending on the response of the federal government, the proposed law could save tens of millions of dollars annually by lowering incarceration rates and raise hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.
Californians have until December 9th to collect the half million signatures needed to add the measure to the ballot. If added, voters could decide marijuana’s fate in California in November 2012 elections.