Pubdate: Mon, 12 Dec 2016
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2016 Los Angeles Times
Author: Keshan Huang	


After multiple failed attempts over the course of a century,
Proposition 64, which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana,
passed with a 56 percent vote in California on Nov. 9.

Proposition 64 legalizes the recreational use of marijuana; anyone 21
and older can possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow a maximum
of six marijuana plants at home. The proposition can also potentially
reduce sentences as well as clearing criminal records of prisoners
that have been convicted of felonies related to the possession and
consumption of marijuana.

Although the proposition gives leeway to many marijuana-related
offenses, people are worried of the consequences that come with its
passage. Low-income people who use marijuana for medical purposes are
uneasy about the 15 percent tax that comes tacked onto the purchase of
cannabis. Others are expressing their agitation over a provision in
the proposition that doesn't offer the guarantee of school funding and
public services with the collected tax.

Conditions still apply to the passing of the proposition. For
instance, the earliest date for the opening of recreational marijuana
retail stores will be January 2018. Growers and sellers will have to
obtain licenses from the Department of Public Health and the
Department of Food and Agriculture, further prolonging the
availability of recreational marijuana. Marijuana must also be
consumed in the confinements of a private residence or in a licensed
business property.

Cities are able to regulate zoning laws to restrict where retailers
are able to set up shop, and local committees hold the power to
regulate and restrict the consumption of marijuana in community spaces.

Restrictions may exist against the use of marijuana, but benefits come
with the legalization of the it. Studies have shown that in states
that have legalized marijuana, teen consumption of cannabis has been
on a small decline. Legalization of cannabis also allows a safer
transaction plan. The buyer is informed of how their marijuana is
processed and where it came from.

Schools are faced with a dilemma. Although the legalization of
marijuana has been known to decrease teenage consumption, concerns
arise within parents and administrators. The most common concern is
that the proposition presents a negative message to students; the term
"recreational" may encourage students to indulge in the under-age use
of marijuana.

Van Nuys High School has a no-tolerance drug policy. The school has a
counseling program that is provided on and off campus for students who
use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. The school is also in
partnership with the National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Treatment Programs.

"While I am very displeased by the smell of marijuana, the
legalization of marijuana might be proven to be a beneficial
proposition for it betters the state's economy through the taxes on
marijuana while at the same time, weakening the drug cartels and the
black market trade," said Bryan Denq, a junior, who acknowledges the
positive effects of legalization, but hopes that the school will not
be too affected by it. "I just hope that the bathrooms are not smoked
out from marijuana. It is very difficult do your business with such a

Min Kim, a junior, believes in using marijuana for medical means, but
discourages the use of it recreationally. "I don't understand why
someone over 21 without any medical issues would need access to weed."

People hope that the legalization of recreational marijuana will work
to fight against the stigma that surrounds the nature of consuming

"I think legalizing the proposition is a step forwards towards
creating a united front against the hate that surrounds the use of
marijuana, medical or not," commented Joseway Gomez. "I don't see it
as a step backwards, but a step forwards in our changing society."
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