Proposition 203 has been a hotly contested issue this election year. Some opponents cast it in a negative light as legalizing marijuana, while supporters claim it is only for the safe medical consumption of the drug. I’ll try below to outline exactly what Prop 203 is all about, what it would allow and what it would not.
Proposition 203 is sort of a “revision bill.” California’s Senate Bill 420 (Clever, California, Clever) legalized marijuana for use for medical purposes. There has been much criticism of late, however, because of the wording in the senate bill which allowed marijuana to be used for “acute chronic pain.” This opened the gateway for medical marijuana cards to be issued to almost anyone, and it has been widely considered to be abused by 97% (according to a new agency) of its’ users.
Prop 203 used some of the wording from the CA SB420, but instead shifted it to be far more restrictive. AZ Prop 203 would only allow marijuana for serious debilitating diseases such as cancer and AIDS. In this setting, marijuana would be allowed for purchase on a limited basis (around 70g every two weeks) to prevent trafficking, and would be essentially restricted to a moderate in-home usage amount.
Proposition 203’s supporters claim that it will provide a much needed avenue of respite for those who suffer from these kinds of diseases. Marijuana is a “no hangover” drug, unlike prescription pills, and has many therapeutic uses according to some research. Moreover, the specific wording in Prop 203 would prevent the “California” effect and keep marijuana out of the hands of those who would simply use it for recreation.
The opponents to this measure claim that this is just a gateway bill. They say this is the first step to legalizing yet another drug that we don’t need in our society today. The bill would allow for 120 dispensaries to be opened around the state, which some claim is unnecessary. Furthermore, they claim that there are already plenty of legal prescription drugs to treat pain and anxiety in patients with debilitating diseases; this is little more than an effort by marijuana users to steamroll acceptance through the legislature
Whichever your stance, Prop 203 is one very specific thing and nothing else. It allows for a small amount of marijuana to be regulated and released to seriously sick people. It does not allow for personal use by recreational pot smokers, and does not decriminalize possession by those not specifically allowed by the bill.
If you’ve been arrested for marijuana possession, contact a criminal attorney today. A criminal lawyer can look at your case and determine if a compromise can be met due to the circumstances. Many marijuana possession cases are simple to resolve, as long as you have an experienced litigator on your side.