An initiative to legalize the recreational use, cultivation and distribution of cannabis has been filed in California by the state’s branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The initiative would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older, while allowing them to cultivate up to 25 square feet of cannabis at a private residence. Cannabis retail outlets would also be authorized, allowing anyone 21 and older to purchase the plant.
“Despite having some of the strictest cannabis laws in the world, the United States has the largest number of cannabis consumers”, states the initiative’s findings section. “The percentage of U.S. citizens who consume cannabis is double that of the percentage of people who consume cannabis in the Netherlands, a country where the selling and adult possession of cannabis is allowed.”
It continues; “According to The National Research Council’s recent study of the 11 U.S. states where cannabis was decriminalized, there is little apparent relationship between severity of sanctions and the rate of consumption.”
The group notes that cannabis “has fewer harmful effects than either alcohol or cigarettes, which are both legal for adult consumption”, and that cannabis “is not physically addictive, does not have long term toxic effects on the body, and does not cause its consumers to become violent.”
According to the bill’s intent section, it would direct California to “stop arresting thousands of non-violent cannabis consumers, freeing up police resources and saving millions of dollars each year, which could be used for apprehending dangerous criminals and eeping them locked up, and for other essential state needs that lack funding”.
The full text of the initiative can be found by clicking here.