California was the first state to establish a medical marijuana program. In 2010 Gov. Schwarzenegger signed a bill reducing the charge of possession of an ounce of weed equal to a traffic misdemeanor. Also in 2010 Proposition 19 (to regulate, control and tax cannabis) was defeated by 53%. Proposition 215 which enabled the medical marijuana act eventually established an identity card for users that would be issued through doctors.
What is the most interesting but not surprising is the findings of how much money would be generated if the complete legalization of marijuana was in effect. That number is $1.3 billion in revenue saving the taxpayers $1 billion a year in prosecution, arrests and imprisonment. In addition Gov. Brown signed three bills in 2015 creating a system for the oversight of growth, manufacturing and sale of medical marijuana which is aimed directly are bringing that $1.3 billion in revenue. It has taken 20 years to get to this. No doubt leaders in this space.
Essentially what has happened in California and I assume other states who have not completely legalized marijuana but have opened up access to be issued a license by a doctor for purchasing weed legally. Bottom line, anyone can get a license.
There has been evidence that many of the weed drug dealers who have now been put out of business have moved into harder drugs which creates a whole new set of issues. I would love to see how much money is generation in tax dollars for the state of California in 2015 alone and how it effected by bottom line of the budget and see the changes after the bills that Gov. Brown signed are totally working which should be around 2018.
I went to get my license. There are licensed doctors in storefronts that are easy to find. You fill out paperwork asking you information about why weed would be of help to you. You get to see the doctor. I saw a man. He took my blood pressure, listened to my breathing, asked me a few questions if weed helped anxiety, stress etc. Then the examination was over and he said I passed the text and my license was issued. It took less than 5 minutes.
The stores are all regulated. You have to show your drivers license and your issued license from the doctor. Then you are given access to the backroom where you can purchase weed, hash oil, edibles, accessories etc. The strains are all different. If you want something to make you feel mellow they have that. If you want something that gives you a lot of energy they have that. If you want something for sleeping they have that. The choices are endless. The weed is off the charts giving you the best high you can get. Regulation has many upsides.
It was a pretty seamless experience. Impressive actually. The winners in all of this are patients, activists and actually the California budget. The losers are the anti-marijuana groups and outlaws.
I am all for what California has accomplished as other states have followed in their footsteps in different ways. Thrilled to be part of the system.