What Does the Adult Use of Marijuana Act Initiative Do?
How does the AUMA voter initiative work?
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) will make cannabis legal for adults age 21 and above to possess, carry, share and grow in small amounts for non-medical personal use. It does not allow public consumption, driving impaired or furnishing to minors. AUMA protects, integrates and expands existing state medical marijuana laws.* It makes cannabis an agricultural product and regulates the market with licensing at both state and local levels. Localities could still ban cannabusinesses. AUMA taxes commerce and allocates funds for implementing the laws, youth programs, scientific research and social justice grants. AUMA drops nine cannabis felonies and releases offenders from prison but it retains certain criminal penalties. AUMA restricts police searches. Finally, it brings industrial hemp back to agriculture.
Isn’t marijuana already as good as legal?
No! Currently having up to an ounce is an infraction and if police say you plan to sell any amount, it is charged as a felony. Having more than an ounce of bud or any concentrate is a misdemeanor. Sharing or transporting any amount is a misdemeanor. Gardening, sales and transportation charged for sale are all felonies. Having a doctor’s letter of recommendation gives patients a qualified legal immunity defense in court but they can still be arrested and prosecuted. There are lost wages, attorney fees, fines and court costs to pay. A pot arrest can affect educational benefits, housing and other things for the rest of your life.
So I won’t need a doctor’s note anymore?
Adults throughout the state will have a legal right to possess, grow and share small amounts of marijuana, to work in the industry and to apply for a commercial license with no doctor’s note. For larger medical amounts, patients will still need to have a doctor’s recommendation.
How much cannabis could an adult have?
An ounce of herb and 8 grams of concentrate per adult; six plants per household. You keep the entire harvest, of course, even if it’s more than an ounce. For larger amounts you will still need to get a doctor’s approval.
Where can we light up?
In your home or at any duly licensed cannabis venue, like going to a bar to have a drink. Localities can authorize and license events and venues to allow “on site” consumption but cannot have alcohol or tobacco sales at the same venue as marijuana.
How much would the new cannabis tax be?
There is a production tax at the cultivation level and a 15% excise tax built into the sales price at the point of purchase. This is lower than the tax in other states, but if it is found to be so costly that it leads people to the illicit market, regulators can reduce it. Sales and local taxes also apply but patients with a state patient ID card are exempt from the sales tax.
What are some of the other restrictions?
Proof of age will be required to buy marijuana.AUMA does not allow public consumption except in a place licensed for on-site use. No smoking is allowed in a moving car and no open containers in the passenger area, so people will have to carry cannabis in their trunk or some kind of closed container. Unlicensed sales remain illegal and sales to minors can be a felony. AUMA imposes strict anti-monopoly restrictions.
What if I want to grow and sell marijuana?
A vendor would need both a state and local business license. You could work as an employee, get a license or be owner / investor in one or more licensed production or sales companies — even with a prior cannabis conviction. Check out the small grower or microbusiness license, that’s a good place to start; and good luck!
How can I learn more or get involved?
Yes on AUMA campaign: letsgetitrightca.org • Friends of AUMA: auma2016.com • Cannabis law: ChrisConrad.com • News: theLeafOnline.com