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Tuesday November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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State of California
Prop. 64 — Making Recreational Marijuana Legal Initiative Statute - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results


7,979,041 votes yes (57.1%)

5,987,020 votes no (42.9%)

100% of precincts reporting (24,847/24,847).

Legalizes marijuana under state law, for use by adults 21 or older. Imposes state taxes on sales and cultivation. Provides for industry licensing and establishes standards for marijuana products. Allows local regulation and taxation.

What is this proposal?

Easy Voter Guide — Summary for new and busy voters

Information provided by The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

The way it is now

Since 1996, it has been legal for California residents to grow and use marijuana for medical purposes if they have a doctor’s recommendation. It is not legal to grow, process, possess or use marijuana for non-medical (recreational) purposes. Penalties for growing, possessing or selling marijuana range from fines to long prison sentences. 

What if it passes?

Make it legal to grow, possess or use marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older. Businesses growing and selling non-medical marijuana would be regulated.  There would be limits on the amount a person could possess for individual use. Taxes would be set for retail sales and on growers of non-medical marijuana.  Money from these taxes would pay for things like for youth programs, environmental protection and drug education efforts.

Budget effect

The costs of Prop 64 and how much money it would raise are unclear. The amount coming in from taxes depends on how much non-medical marijuana is grown and purchased through the new legal system. Over time, state and local governments could earn taxes in the hundreds of millions of dollars or more than $1 billion each year. The state and local governments could also save tens of millions of dollars on court and law enforcement costs each year.

People FOR say

  • Prop 64 would set up a safe, legal system that allows adults to use recreational marijuana.
  • Prop 64 would bring in more than $1 billion each year and lower state court costs.

People AGAINST say

  • Prop 64 would increase the illegal drug trade and hurt low income communities.
  •  Prop 64 allows marijuana to be grown near schools and puts youth at risk of addiction.


Pros & Cons — Unbiased explanation with arguments for and against

Information provided by The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

The Question

Should marijuana be legalized in California for use by adults who are age 21 years or older?

The Situation

Currently, it is illegal in California to cultivate or use marijuana except that marijuana may be used by individuals of any age for medical purposes if recommended by a doctor. Federal law prohibits the possession or use of marijuana, even for medical purposes, but the federal government has chosen not to prosecute individuals or businesses if they are following state or local marijuana laws that are consistent with federal priorities, such as preventing minors from using marijuana.

Under current law, a person who possesses less than one ounce of marijuana (the same as about 40 marijuana cigarettes) could be fined. Selling or growing marijuana could mean jail or prison if convicted. The state is currently beginning to regulate and set standards for medical marijuana use.


The Proposal

  • Proposition 64 would legalize marijuana for adults age 21 years or older.
  • A tax of 15% on retail sales of marijuana and a cultivation tax of $9.25 per ounce of flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves would be levied, in addition to the current sales tax imposed on all retail sales. Medical marijuana would be exempt from some but not all taxation. Proposition 64 would establish specific ways in which the use of such taxes would be allocated.
  • Proposition 64 names state agencies to license and regulate the marijuana industry and also allows local regulation and taxation of marijuana.
  • Proposition 64 would impose advertising and labeling standards and restrictions for marijuana products and would prohibit marketing and advertising directly to minors.
  • Proposition 64 also permits re-sentencing of individuals previously convicted for activities now made legal, and destruction of records for prior marijuana convictions. 

Fiscal effect

Proposition 64 could bring in net state and local revenues that range from the high hundreds of millions of dollars to over one billion dollars annually but the amounts depend on how state and local governments regulate and tax marijuana, whether the federal government enforces federal laws regulating marijuana and how marijuana prices and consumption change. Proposition 64 could reduce government costs by tens of millions of dollars annually because of the decline of marijuana offenders now in state prisons and county jails. 

Supporters say

  • Proposition 64 would bring in revenues over a billion dollars and could save tens of millions of dollars annually in reduced law enforcement costs.
  • Proposition 64 would end the criminalization of marijuana by creating a safe, legal and comprehensive system for adult use of marijuana while protecting our children.
  • Proposition 64 adopts the best practices from states that already have legal adult marijuana use. 

Opponents say

  • Proposition 64 would increase highway fatalities because it has no DUI (Driving Under the Influence) standard for marijuana.
  • Proposition 64 would prohibit local governments from banning indoor residential growing of marijuana even next to an elementary school if the crop is limited to six plants.
  • Proposition 64 would allow felons who have meth and heroin convictions to be licensed to sell marijuana. 

Details — Official information

YES vote means

Adults 21 years of age or older could legally grow, possess, and use marijuana for nonmedical purposes, with certain restrictions. The state would regulate nonmedical marijuana businesses and tax the growing and selling of medical and nonmedical marijuana. Most of the revenue from such taxes would support youth programs, environmental protection, and law enforcement.

NO vote means

Growing, possessing, or using marijuana for nonmedical purposes would remain illegal. It would still be legal to grow, possess, or use marijuana for medical purposes.


Attorney General of California

  • Legalizes marijuana under state law, for use by adults 21 or older. 
  • Designates state agencies to license and regulate marijuana industry. 
  • Imposes state excise tax of 15% on retail sales of marijuana, and state cultivation taxes on marijuana of $9.25 per ounce of flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves. 
  • Exempts medical marijuana from some taxation. 
  • Establishes packaging, labeling, advertising, and marketing standards and restrictions for marijuana products. 
  • Prohibits marketing and advertising marijuana directly to minors. 
  • Allows local regulation and taxation of marijuana. 
  • Authorizes resentencing and destruction of records for prior marijuana convictions.


  • The size of the measure’s fiscal effects could vary significantly depending on:
       1. how state and local governments choose to regulate and tax marijuana,
       2. whether the federal government enforces federal laws prohibiting marijuana, and
       3. how marijuana prices and consumption change under the measure.
  • Net additional state and local tax revenues that could eventually range from the high hundreds of millions of dollars to over $1 billion annually. Most of these funds would be required to be spent for specific purposes such as youth programs, environmental protection, and law enforcement. 
  • Net reduced costs potentially in the tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments primarily related to a decline in the number of marijuana offenders held in state prisons and county jails.


Legislative Analyst's Office

State Marijuana Laws

Marijuana Generally Illegal Under State Law. Under current state law, it is generally illegal to possess or use marijuana. (Please see the nearby box for detailed information on how marijuana is used.) Penalties for marijuana-related activities vary depending on the offense. For example, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana (the equivalent of roughly 40 marijuana cigarettes, also known as “joints”) is punishable by a fine, while selling or growing marijuana may result in a jail or prison sentence.

Proposition 215 Legalized Medical Marijuana. In 1996, voters approved Proposition 215, which made it legal under state law for individuals of any age to use marijuana in California for medical purposes. Individuals must have a recommendation from a doctor to use medical marijuana. In 2003, the Legislature legalized medical marijuana collectives, which are nonprofit organizations that grow and provide marijuana to their members. Collectives are not now licensed or regulated by the state, but cities and counties can regulate where and how medical marijuana is grown and sold by individuals or collectives.

How do Individuals Use Marijuana?

Smoking. The most common way individuals use marijuana is by smoking it. Typically, users smoke the dried flowers of the marijuana plant. Dried marijuana leaves can also be smoked but this is rare because leaves contain only small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the ingredient in marijuana that produces a “high.” Marijuana leaves, flowers, and stalks can also be processed into concentrated marijuana and smoked. Examples of concentrated marijuana include hash and hash oil. Concentrated marijuana is much stronger than dried marijuana, often containing five to ten times the THC levels found in dried marijuana flowers.

VaporizingSome users consume marijuana with devices called vaporizers. A vaporizer heats up dried marijuana or concentrated marijuana but does not burn it. This heating process creates a gas containing THC that is inhaled.

EatingMarijuana can also be added to food. Edible marijuana products are typically made by adding THC from the plant into ingredients (like butter or oil) that are used to prepare foods such as brownies, cookies, or chocolate bars.

Other Methods. Other less common ways of using marijuana include drinking beverages infused with marijuana and rubbing marijuana infused lotions on the skin.

State Currently Adopting New Medical Marijuana Regulations. Recently, new state laws were adopted to begin regulating medical marijuana. As shown in Figure 1, a new Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation and other state agencies are responsible for this regulation. The new laws require the state to set standards for labelling, testing, and packaging medical marijuana products and to develop a system to track such products from production to sale. Currently, these regulations are being developed by the different regulatory agencies. Under the new laws, medical marijuana collectives must be closed within a few years and replaced by state-licensed businesses. Local governments will continue to have the ability to regulate where and how medical marijuana businesses operate.

Figure 1

Taxes on Medical Marijuana. State and local governments currently collect sales tax on medical marijuana. A small number of cities also impose additional taxes specifically on medical marijuana. The total amount of state and local taxes collected on medical marijuana likely is several tens of millions of dollars annually.

Federal Marijuana Laws

Under federal law, it is illegal to possess or use marijuana, including for medical use. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that federal agencies could continue under federal law to prosecute individuals who possess or use marijuana for medical purposes even if legal under a state’s law. Currently, however, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) chooses not to prosecute most marijuana users and businesses that follow state and local marijuana laws if those laws are consistent with federal priorities. These priorities include preventing minors from using marijuana and preventing marijuana from being taken to other states.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Legislative Analyst's Office

This measure

     1. legalizes adult nonmedical use of marijuana 

     2. creates a system for regulating nonmedical marijuana businesses

     3. imposes taxes on marijuana, and

     4. changes penalties for marijuana-related crimes.

These changes are described below.

Legalization of Adult Nonmedical Use of Marijuana

Personal Use of Nonmedical Marijuana. This measure changes state law to legalize the use of marijuana for nonmedical purposes by adults age 21 and over. Figure 2 summarizes what activities would be allowable under the measure. These activities would remain illegal for individuals under the age of 21.

Figure 2

Purchasing Marijuana. Under the measure, adults age 21 and over would be able to purchase marijuana at state-licensed businesses or through their delivery services. Businesses could generally not be located within 600 feet of a school, day care center, or youth center, unless allowed by a local government. In addition, businesses selling marijuana could not sell tobacco or alcohol. Under the measure, local governments could authorize licensed businesses to allow on-site consumption of marijuana. However, such businesses could not allow consumption in areas within the presence or sight of individuals under the age of 21 or areas visible from a public place. In addition, businesses allowing on-site marijuana consumption could not allow consumption of alcohol or tobacco.

Regulation of Nonmedical Marijuana Businesses

State Regulation of Nonmedical Marijuana Businesses. This measure changes the name of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation to the Bureau of Marijuana Control and makes it also responsible for regulating and licensing nonmedical marijuana businesses. In addition, the measure requires other state agencies to regulate and license different parts of the nonmedical marijuana industry. These state agencies would have responsibilities similar to the ones they currently have for medical marijuana. The measure requires each licensing agency to charge fees that cover its marijuana regulatory costs. Under the measure, the system for tracking medical marijuana products that must be developed under current law would be expanded to include marijuana for nonmedical use. The measure also creates the Marijuana Control Appeals Panel to hear appeals from individuals affected by a decision of the state’s regulatory agencies. Decisions of the panel could be appealed to the courts.

Local Regulation of Nonmedical Marijuana Businesses. Under the measure, cities and counties could regulate nonmedical marijuana businesses. For example, cities and counties could require nonmedical marijuana businesses to obtain local licenses and restrict where they could be located. Cities and counties could also completely ban marijuana-related businesses. However, they could not ban the transportation of marijuana through their jurisdictions.

Taxation of Marijuana

The measure imposes new state taxes on growing and selling both medical and nonmedical marijuana. As shown in Figure 3, the new tax on growing marijuana would be based on a dollar amount per ounce of marijuana, and the new excise tax would be based on the retail price of marijuana products sold.

Figure 3

The measure would also affect sales tax revenue to the state and local governments in two ways. First, legalizing the sale of nonmedical marijuana will result in new sales tax revenue. (This would happen automatically, as generally products are subject to this tax under current law.) Second, the sale of medical marijuana, which is currently subject to sales tax, is specifically exempted from that tax. The measure does not change local governments’ existing ability to place other taxes on medical marijuana and does not restrict their ability to tax nonmedical marijuana.

Beginning in 2020, the tax on growing marijuana would be adjusted annually for inflation. The measure also allows the state Board of Equalization to annually adjust the tax rate for marijuana leaves to reflect changes in the price of marijuana flowers relative to leaves. In addition, the measure allows the board to establish other categories of marijuana (such as frozen marijuana) for tax purposes and specifies that these categories would be taxed at their value relative to marijuana flowers.

Allocation of Certain State Tax Revenues. Revenues collected from the new state retail excise tax and the state tax on growing marijuana would be deposited in a new state account, the California Marijuana Tax Fund. Certain fines on businesses or individuals who violate regulations created by the measure would also be deposited into this fund. Monies in the fund would first be used to pay back certain state agencies for any marijuana regulatory costs not covered by license fees. A portion of the monies would then be allocated in specific dollar amounts for various purposes, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4

All remaining revenues (the vast majority of monies deposited in the fund) would be allocated as follows:

  • 60 percent for youth programs—including substance use disorder education, prevention, and treatment.
  • 20 percent to clean up and prevent environmental damage resulting from the illegal growing of marijuana.
  • 20 percent for (1) programs designed to reduce driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs and (2) a grant program designed to reduce any potential negative impacts on public health or safety resulting from the measure.

Penalties for Marijuana-Related Crimes

Change in Penalties for Future Marijuana Crimes. The measure changes state marijuana penalties. For example, possession of one ounce or less of marijuana is currently punishable by a $100 fine. Under the measure, such a crime committed by someone under the age of 18 would instead be punishable by a requirement to attend a drug education or counseling program and complete community service. In addition, selling marijuana for nonmedical purposes is currently punishable by up to four years in state prison or county jail. Under the measure, selling marijuana without a license would be a crime generally punishable by up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $500. In addition, individuals engaging in any marijuana business activity without a license would be subject to a civil penalty of up to three times the amount of the license fee for each violation. While the measure changes penalties for many marijuana-related crimes, the penalties for driving a vehicle while under the impairment of marijuana would remain the same. The measure also requires the destruction—within two years—of criminal records for individuals arrested or convicted for certain marijuana-related offenses.

Individuals Previously Convicted of Marijuana Crimes. Under the measure, individuals serving sentences for activities that are made legal or are subject to lesser penalties under the measure would be eligible for resentencing. For example, an offender serving a jail or prison term for growing or selling marijuana could have their sentence reduced. (A court would not be required to resentence someone if it determined that the person was likely to commit certain severe crimes.) Qualifying individuals would be resentenced to whatever punishment they would have received under the measure. Resentenced individuals currently in jail or prison would be subject to community supervision (such as probation) for up to one year following their release, unless a court removes that requirement. In addition, individuals who have completed sentences for crimes that are reduced by the measure could apply to the courts to have their criminal records changed.

Financial effect

Legislative Analyst's Office

Fiscal Effects Subject to Significant Uncertainty

This measure would affect both costs and revenues for state and local governments. The size of these effects could vary significantly depending primarily on three key factors:

  • First, it would depend on how state and local governments chose to regulate and tax marijuana. For example, if many cities and counties banned marijuana businesses, the amount of revenue from taxes on marijuana would be less than without such bans.
  • Second, it would depend on whether the U.S. DOJ enforced federal laws prohibiting marijuana. For example, if the U.S. DOJ chose to prosecute state-licensed marijuana businesses, there could be significantly reduced revenue from marijuana taxes. This analysis assumes the U.S. DOJ will follow its current policy regarding enforcement of marijuana laws. 
  • Third, the fiscal effects would depend heavily on how marijuana prices and consumption change under the measure. This analysis assumes that the price of marijuana would decline significantly. This is primarily because (1) businesses would become more efficient at producing and distributing marijuana and (2) the price of marijuana would no longer be inflated to compensate for the risk of selling an illegal drug. This analysis also assumes that marijuana consumption would increase under the measure. This is primarily because of (1) the reduced price, and (2) the reduced legal risk for marijuana users.

The actual effects on marijuana prices and consumption are unknown, as are the regulatory and enforcement actions of the state, federal, and local governments. As such, the potential cost and revenue impacts of this measure described below are subject to significant uncertainty.

Effects on State and Local Costs

Reduction in Various Criminal Justice Costs. The measure would result in reduced criminal justice costs for the state and local governments. This is primarily related to a decline in the number of offenders held in state prisons and county jails for growing and selling marijuana. The measure would also reduce the number of such offenders placed under community supervision (such as county probation). In addition, the measure would likely reduce other criminal justice costs, such as state court costs for the handling of related criminal cases.

The above cost reductions would be partially offset by increased costs in several areas. In particular, the courts would incur costs to process applications from individuals seeking to be resentenced or have their criminal records changed. In addition, there would be costs to supervise resentenced offenders in the community. These various costs would be incurred largely within the first couple of years following the passage of the measure. In addition, there would be ongoing costs in a few areas. For example, there would be court costs to destroy records of arrest and conviction for individuals who commit certain marijuana-related crimes. In addition, there would be ongoing costs to operate drug education and counseling programs as required by the measure. There would also be some increased criminal justice costs (such as county jail and state court costs) to the extent that increased marijuana use leads to increased marijuana-related crime (such as driving while impaired by marijuana).

In total, the net reduction in state and local criminal justice costs from the above changes could be in the tens of millions of dollars annually. In many cases, these resources would likely be redirected to other criminal justice activities.

Effects on State and Local Health Programs. The measure could also have various fiscal effects on state and local health programs as a result of increased marijuana use. For example, the measure could result in an increase in the number of individuals seeking publicly funded substance use treatment. Any additional costs for such services could be partially or entirely offset by additional funding that would be available for substance use treatment under the measure. Although research on the health effects of marijuana use is limited, there is some evidence that smoking marijuana has harmful effects. For example, marijuana smoke is among a list of substances identified by the state to cause cancer. To the extent that an increase in marijuana use negatively affects users’ health, it would increase somewhat state and local health program costs.

Increased State Regulatory Costs. The measure would also result in costs for the state to regulate nonmedical marijuana businesses. These costs would vary depending on how the state chooses to regulate marijuana but could amount to several tens of millions of dollars annually. Eventually, these costs would likely be entirely offset by license fees and tax revenues.

Effects on State and Local Revenues

Tax Revenues Could Reach $1 Billion Annually, but Not Right Away. State and local governments would receive more revenues—including sales, excise, and income taxes—from marijuana sales allowed under this measure. This increase in tax revenue would result primarily from (1) new state excise taxes on growing and selling marijuana, (2) individuals switching from illegal purchases of marijuana (made from individuals who do not pay all the taxes they owe) to legal purchases (at businesses that collect and pay the taxes they owe), and (3) an increase in consumption of marijuana. In addition, lower marijuana prices due to the measure may provide individuals using marijuana now with some savings. This could allow them to purchase other legal products that generate tax revenue. These revenue increases, however, would be partially offset by the loss of sales taxes now collected on medical marijuana sales, as the measure exempts such purchases from these taxes.

In total, our best estimate is that the state and local governments could eventually collect net additional revenues ranging from the high hundreds of millions of dollars to over $1 billion annually. However, the revenues are likely to be significantly lower in the first several years following the passage of the measure. This is because it will take a couple of years for the state to issue licenses to marijuana businesses. In addition, it will likely take time for newly licensed businesses to set up efficient production and distribution systems. Prices in the legal market will likely fall as more legal businesses are licensed and as they become more efficient. As this occurs, more consumers will begin purchasing marijuana legally. It is unknown precisely how long this process will take but it could be several years after the measure passes before revenues reach the range described above. As discussed earlier, the measure requires that most of these funds be spent on specified purposes.

Additional Local Government Revenues. The measure could result in additional revenues if local governments impose taxes on marijuana. The amount of additional revenues could vary significantly, depending primarily on how many local governments impose marijuana taxes and at what rates. These revenues could easily amount to tens of millions of dollars annually.

Potential Impact on Local Economies in Marijuana Producing Areas. Exports of marijuana currently contribute significantly to the economy in parts of Northern California, such as Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties. Precisely how this measure would affect these local economies is unknown. Lower marijuana prices and more opportunity for legal cultivation elsewhere could hurt the economy in these areas, reducing local government tax revenues. If, however, local growers and businesses successfully marketed their marijuana products as premium goods, consumers might be willing to pay above-average prices for them. If that occurred, it could help offset some of the negative economic effects in those areas.


Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

Proposition 64 finally creates a safe, legal, and comprehensive system for adult use of marijuana while protecting our children.

Marijuana is available nearly everywhere in California— but without any protections for children, without assurances of product safety, and without generating tax revenue for the state.

Prop. 64 controls, regulates and taxes adult use of marijuana, and ends California's criminalization of responsible adult use.

California Medical Association supports Prop. 64 because it incorporates best practices from states that already legalized adult marijuana use, and adheres closely to the recommendations of California’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, which included law enforcement and public health experts.

How Prop. 64 Works

  • Under this law, adults 21+ will be allowed to possess small amounts of nonmedical marijuana, and to grow small amounts at home for personal use. Sale of nonmedical marijuana will be legal only at highly regulated, licensed marijuana businesses, and only adults 21+ will be permitted to enter. Bars will not sell marijuana, nor will liquor stores or grocery stores.

Child Protections

  • Drug dealers don’t ask for proof of age and today can sell marijuana laced with dangerous drugs and chemicals. 64 includes toughest-in-the-nation protections for children, requiring purchasers to be 21, banning advertising directed to children, and requiring clear labeling and independent product testing to ensure safety. 64 prohibits marijuana businesses next to schools.

The independent Legislative Analyst’s Office found that 64 will both raise revenue and decrease costs. By collecting unpaid taxes from marijuana, it will bring in over $1 billion of revenue every year to help California. And it could save tens of millions of dollars annually in reduced law enforcement costs. Together, that is a benefit of $11 billion over the next decade. 

  • 64 corrects mistakes from past measures that didn’t direct where money goes. Instead, this measure is specific about how money can be spent. Prop. 64 specifically prevents politicians from diverting money to their separate pet projects. 
  • 64 pays for itself and raises billions for afterschool programs that help kids stay in school; for job placement, job training, and mental health treatment; for drug prevention education for teens; to treat alcohol and drug addiction; and to fund training and research for law enforcement to crack down on impaired driving. Over the next decade, these programs will receive billions in revenues.

Every year, there are more than 8,800 felony arrests for growing or selling marijuana in California, resulting in some very long prison sentences. This is an enormous waste of law enforcement resources. Prop. 64 will stop ruining people’s lives for marijuana.

The tough, common sense regulations put forth in 64 are supported by the largest coalition ever in support of marijuana reform, including Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Democratic and Republican Congressmembers, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the California NAACP, the California Democratic Party and many others. We all know California’s current approach toward marijuana doesn’t make sense. It’s time to put an end to our broken system, and implement proven reforms so marijuana will be safe, controlled, and taxed.


DR. DONALD O. LYMAN, Former Chief of Chronic Disease and Injury Control
California Department of Public Health

GRETCHEN BURNS, Executive Director
Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing

STEVEN DOWNING, Former Deputy Chief
Los Angeles Police Department 

— Secretary of State Voter Info Guide

Arguments AGAINST

There are five huge flaws in Proposition 64 that directly affect you and the people you care about.

Flaw #1: Doubling of highway fatalities.

The AAA Foundation for Highway Safety reports that deaths in marijuana-related car crashes have doubled since the State of Washington approved legalization. Yet, incredibly, Proposition 64’s proponents refused to include a DUI standard for marijuana, making it extremely difficult to keep impaired drivers off our highways.

Flaw #2: Allows marijuana growing near schools and parks.

Proposition 64 actually forbids local governments from banning indoor residential growing of marijuana—even next door to an elementary school—provided the crop is limited to six plants, (and that is a lot of marijuana). The California Police Chiefs Association adds that “by permitting indoor cultivation of marijuana literally next door to elementary schools and playgrounds, Proposition 64 is trampling local control.”

Flaw #3: Will increase, not decrease black market and drug cartel activity.

“Organized crime filings have skyrocketed in Colorado since marijuana legalization,” says Past President of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police John Jackson. “We had 1 filing in 2007 and by 2015, we had 40. Since your Proposition 64 repeals the prohibition on heroin and meth dealers with felony convictions getting into the legal marijuana business, it could be much worse in California.”

Flaw #4: Could roll back the total prohibition of smoking ads on TV.

Tobacco ads have been banned from television for decades, but Proposition 64 will allow marijuana smoking ads in prime time, and on programs with millions of children and teenage viewers.

Flaw #5: Proposition 64 is an all-out assault on underprivileged neighborhoods already reeling from alcohol and drug addiction problems.

Bishop Ron Allen of the International Faith Based Coalition representing 5,000 inner-city churches calls Proposition 64 an “attack on minorities” and asks “Why are there no limits on the number of pot shops that can be opened in poor neighborhoods? We will now have a string of pot shops to go with the two liquor stores on every block, but we still can’t get a grocery store. Proposition 64 will make every parent’s job tougher.”

In short, Proposition 64 is radically different from legalization measures in other states, and may weaken countless consumer protections just passed last year and signed into law by Governor Brown.

If the proponents’ Rebuttal below doesn’t answer these five questions, then the only reasonable decision is to vote “No”.

1. Why is there no DUI standard in your initiative to let our CHP officers get drug-impaired drivers off the road? It is not sufficient to simply commission a “study”. 2. Why does Proposition 64 permit indoor cultivation of marijuana right next door to playgrounds and schools?  3. Why does Proposition 64 allow felons convicted of dealing meth and heroin to be licensed to sell marijuana?  4. Why does Proposition 64 permit marijuana smoking commercials on TV? 5. Why is there no limit on the number of pot shops that can be placed in a single neighborhood?

They’ve gotten it wrong, again. We strongly urge your “No” vote on Proposition 64.

To get the facts, visit

DIANNE FEINSTEIN, United States Senator

California Association of Highway Patrolmen

C. DUANE DAUNER, President
California Hospital Association 

— Secretary of State Voter Info Guide

Replies to Arguments FOR

Proposition 64, in effect, could limit a 45-year ban on smoking ads on television, allowing marijuana ads airing to millions of children and teen viewers. These ads can appear during The Olympics, on “The Voice,” “The Big Bang Theory” and hundreds of other programs popular with younger viewers.

These marijuana smoking ads could be allowed on all broadcast primetime shows, and approximately 95% of all broadcast television programming. Children could be exposed to ads promoting marijuana Gummy candy and brownies—the same products blamed for a spike in emergency room visits in Colorado.

We ban tobacco television ads because studies show it encouraged kids to start smoking. Marijuana smoking ads on TV should have been banned, but the proponents didn’t want to restrict the enormous profits they plan to make, estimated in the billions. And like tobacco money, the corporate monopolies spawned by Proposition 64 can use that money for contributions to politicians to ensure we can never undo the damage Proposition 64 will do.

Sharon Levy, M.D., FAAP, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Abuse warns “It took several generations, millions of lives and billions of dollars to establish the harms of tobacco use on health, even though these harms are overwhelming. We should not consider marijuana ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ given what we already know about the harms to adolescents.” After recent reforms, not one single person remains in California’s prisons solely for simple marijuana possession. What Proposition 64 is really about is exposing our children to harm in order to make billions.

Join us in voting “No” on Proposition 64.


KATIE DEXTER, Past President
San Diego County School Boards Association

Rosemead School District

CYNTHIA RUIZ, Board Member
Walnut Valley Unified School District

— Secretary of State Voter Info Guide

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Look at the facts, not scare tactics from groups that always oppose marijuana reform. 

  • Some evidence has shown states with legalized marijuana have less youth marijuana use. Prop. 64 contains the nation’s strictest child protections: warning labels, child-resistant packaging, and advertising restrictions, and it requires keeping marijuana out of public view, away from children.
  • Nothing in 64 makes it legal to show marijuana ads on TV. Federal law prohibits it!
  • It has not been definitively proven that impaired driving has increased in those states with legalized marijuana, and crash risk hasn’t increased. Colorado’s Department of Public Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration both confirm this.

Vote Yes on 64 because:

  • 64 invests hundreds of millions into equipment and law enforcement training to crack down on unsafe driving. It allocates new funds to develop comprehensive legal standards under direction of the California Highway Patrol for measuring driver impairment.
  • 64 makes the protection of public health and safety the #1 priority of the regulators that determine who qualifies for a marijuana business license.
  • 64 preserves local control.
  • 64 builds on consumer protections signed by the Governor. The independent Legislative Analyst’s Office says 64 will raise revenue and decrease costs. Bipartisan lawmakers support 64 because it’s based on best practices of states that have safely legalized.

“I don’t use marijuana and I don’t want my 17-year-old son to either. I’m voting Yes on 64 because it’s clear it will protect children much better than what we have now,” says Maria Alexander, Los Angeles mother. Learn more at


REP. TED LIEU, Former Military Prosecutor

Youth Education and Prevention Working Group,
Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy

DR. LARRY BEDARD, Former President
American College of Emergency Physicians

— Secretary of State Voter Info Guide

Who gave money?


Yes on Prop. 64

Total money raised: $24,809,861
Bar graph showing total amount relative to total amount for this entire campaign.

No on Prop. 64

Total money raised: $1,611,469
Bar graph showing total amount relative to total amount for this entire campaign.

Below are the top 10 contributors that gave money to committees supporting or opposing the ballot measures.

Yes on Prop. 64

Sean Parker and affiliated entities
Fund for Policy Reform
Parker, Sean
Lewis, Daniel
Drug Policy Action
van Ameringen, Henry
Pritzker, Nicholas
Thiel, Peter
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

No on Prop. 64

Schauer, Julie
California Association of Highway Patrolmen
California Teamsters Public Affairs Council
Californians For Jobs Assemblymember Jim Cooper Ballot Measure Committee
Peace Officers Research Association of California
California Police Chiefs Association
Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs
Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs
California Correctional Peace Officers Association
California Correctional Supervisor's Organization
California Hospital Association
California State Sheriff's Association
Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association
Los Angeles Police Protective League

More information about contributions

Yes on Prop. 64

By State:

California 57.22%
Delaware 28.98%
New York 7.20%
Florida 5.90%
Other 0.69%

By Size:

Large contributions (85.40%)
Small contributions (14.60%)

By Type:

From organizations (74.88%)
From individuals (25.12%)

No on Prop. 64

By State:

Pennsylvania 75.38%
California 24.35%
Illinois 0.12%
Texas 0.09%
Other 0.05%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.94%)
Small contributions (0.06%)

By Type:

From organizations (13.34%)
From individuals (86.66%)

More information

News (27)

Election May Be a Turning Point for Legal Marijuana — October 24, 2016 The New York Times
Election 2016 FAQ: Proposition 64, marijuana legalization — October 3, 2016 California Counts
How can you tell if a driver is stoned? — September 1, 2016 KPCC
Poll: Californians Support Gun Control, Legal Pot — August 17, 2016 Capital Public Radio
Keepers of the bud split on California marijuana legalization — July 16, 2016 San Francisco Chronicle

Opinions & Analysis (16)

Videos (5)

— October 18, 2016 The Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College
— October 21, 2016 SeePolitical
— October 22, 2016 Sacramento State University
Sacramento State College’s Project for an Informed Electorate provides non-partisan videos on California’s ballot Propositions. Each video includes an appearance by a representative from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO). The LAO writes the state’s impartial analysis on each Proposition.
— September 12, 2016 KCET

Contact Info

Yes on Prop. 64
Dustin Moore Yes on 64, Californians to Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana While Protecting Children
Phone: (916) 382-2952
1029 H St.,
Suite 301
Sacramento, CA 95814
No on Prop. 64
Tim Rosales No on 64
Phone: (916) 473-8866
2150 River Plaza Drive
Sacramento, CA 95833
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