Prop 64: Medical Marijuana Community Split Over Legalizing Recreational Pot Use

Most California voters support legalizing recreational marijuana, according to results of a poll released on Sept. 12, 2016. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Come November, medical pot dispensary operator Lanette Davies won’t be joining others in her industry in voting for Proposition 64, a measure that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

The initiative could create a flood of new customers for Davies’ nonprofit Canna Care pot shop, which is located in the back of an industrial park on the outskirts of Sacramento. But Davies fears the Nov. 8 ballot measure will result in big corporations driving out small operators, and the government setting steep taxes and fees on cannabis that will put it out of reach for many of her mostly low-income customers.

“Because of the double taxation and the permit fees, you are not going to have affordable medication,” Davies predicted as her customer bought a $33 bag of Jedi Kush marijuana. “The people who are going to suffer are those who are disabled, who are on low incomes. They are not going to be able to get life-saving medicine.”

She is not the only one concerned. Proposition 64 has split the medical cannabis community, with some seeing new opportunity and others fearing it will wreck a system that is working for nearly 800,000 medical pot card holders.

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