Last November, the wise and astute voters of California said “Yes” to Proposition 64 and the legalization of marijuana. With that critical vote now earmarked in the history books for all to contemplate, registered voters in Los Angeles have one more important ballot to cast.
On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, a special election will be held for the people of the City of Los Angeles, allowing residents to vote on the replacement of LA’s chronically flawed Proposition D, which voters passed May 21, 2013. Under Prop D, the city restricted the number of legal medical marijuana dispensaries to 135 compliant shops, raised taxes on dispensaries from $50 to $60 for every $1,000 of gross earnings, and neglected to mandate the testing of marijuana for pesticides sold at dispensaries. Now, with the bad old days of prohibition in the Golden State’s collective rear view mirror … it’s time for LA’s voters to plant the seeds of equal opportunity and common sense regulations.
Replace Proposition D with Measure M:
The passage of Measure M, germinated and cultivated by the Southern California Coalition (SCC) in conjunction with the LA City Council, would repeal and replace Prop D and its defective sections. Nurtured by the SCC throughout the drafting process, the Southern California Coalition is the largest and most inclusive cannabis industry trade organization representing stakeholders from across the marijuana-licensing spectrum.
Strongly endorsed by the NAACP, Measure M is viewed as the most comprehensive, just, and all-encompassing marijuana regulatory framework to ever materialize on a citywide ballot. If passed, Measure M would grant the Los Angeles City Council the proper tools to propagate greater diversity within LA’s newest economic powerhouse – the marijuana industry. Providing elevated health care opportunities and youth-based educational programs, M would also mandate greater diversity in the licensing process; ensuring these valuable licenses are not just issued to an isolated group of well-funded individuals.
Measure M Highlights:
- New Green for LA City Services: Measure M cultivates an equitable tax structure that pledges new revenue for the benefit of LA’s municipal services. The Measure would also reduce the local gross receipts tax from 6% to 5% for all medical marijuana sales. Additionally, M would create a new 10% tax on all recreational marijuana sales and a new 1% to 2% tax for all companies involved in the delivery/transportation, testing/research, and cultivation.
- Safe Access to Trustworthy Meds: Measure M safeguards convenient and dependable access to medical marijuana for MMJ patients in the city of Los Angeles. Providing higher-quality meds for LA’s 700,000+ patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, and epilepsy.
- Benefits Communities and Minorities: Measure M creates greater opportunity for both financially strapped communities and their minorities. Reversing decades of bad marijuana policy that has predominantly affected people of color, who are targeted and incarnated at a vastly disproportionate rate than their white peers.
- Potent Penalties: Measure M would establish hard-hitting consequences for all criminal activities. Establishing strict civil penalties for any businesses that violate the new marijuana regulations, the Measure would authorize the DWP (Department of Water and Power) to turn off utilities in noncompliant marijuana shops.
- Inhibits Illegal Marketplace: By effectively licensing and regulating California’s adult use marijuana market, M greatly restricts the majority of black-market activity while supporting local law enforcement and addressing public safety concerns.
- Inclusive Licensing System: Measure M creates an inclusive licensing system and eliminates unnecessarily lengthy, costly, or overly burdensome delays for those seeking legal licenses.
- Youth Educational Programs: Measure M dedicates funds to better educate Angeleno youth about the risks associated with early brain development and marijuana.
As California’s many cash-strapped municipalities scramble to plant their hybrid regulations and harvest their fair share of the projected $1 billion in new tax revenue, the passage of Measure M will help LA’s new recreational marijuana industry establish their own set of strong regulatory guidelines – thereby establishing useful parameters that will produce prosperity, equality, and safety for all Angelenos in the new era of legalized marijuana.
And they said money (read: Opportunity) doesn’t grow on trees…