On July 1st, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), an initiative to legalize marijuana in the state, is now on the November ballot. AUMA, designated as Proposition 64, would allow adults 21 and older in California to grow up to six plants in a secured area at home and possess, gift, and transport up to one ounce of marijuana and up to eight grams of extract. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of police, judges, prosecutors, and other criminal justice professionals advocating for marijuana legalization, endorses the measure as it stands to improve the relationship between communities and police and help keep the justice system focused on more serious matters.
“This initiative is the best chance California has to end a failed war on marijuana,” said Redondo Beach Police Department’s Lt. Commander Diane Goldstein (Ret.), executive board member for LEAP. “It’s our best hope to reduce the power of cartels operating in our state, to generate much-needed resources for law enforcement, and create a new system of regulation and control that will greatly improve public health and safety for all Californians.”
The measure needed and received more than 402,468 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Prop. 64 increases privacy protections for medical marijuana patients who have the required medical marijuana identification cards. It also allows courts to re-sentence many prisoners serving time for marijuana offenses and re-designate or dismiss many marijuana offenses from the criminal records of those who have already served out their sentences. Tax revenue from marijuana sales would be allocated for bolstering communities that have been disparately impacted by the War on Drugs, most notably communities of color. Tax revenues would be allocated to youth drug treatment and prevention programs and to law enforcement agencies for improving detection of impaired drivers.
Prop. 64 has bipartisan support from state government officials and strong support from community members and organizations from various backgrounds, including LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing (Ret.), Judge James P. Gray (Ret.), the California NAACP, Marijuana Policy Project of California, Drug Policy Alliance, ACLU of California, California Democratic Party, California Medical Association, Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing, and medical professionals including Donald Abrams, M.D., Chief of Hematology and Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital.
Marijuana is legal for adult use in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia. Twenty-five states and D.C. have legalized some form of medical marijuana access.
LEAP is committed to ending decades of failed marijuana policies that have damaged the lives of countless Americans and their families, slowed the justice system at every level, and eroded trust between communities and police.