Medical cannabis advocates are set to discuss what a statewide recreational marijuana ballot measure, if passed in November, would mean in Merced County.
The Friends of Proposition 64 Drug Policy Action, a campaign group based in Sacramento, will hold a two-hour question-and-answer session beginning at noon Thursday at Merced Multicultural Arts Center, 645 W. Main St., Merced.
The meeting is open to the public and may be of interest to medical cannabis patients and nonpatients alike, according to Lauren Vazquez, the associate director of outreach for the Prop. 64 campaign.
“It’s going to be more of a discussion than a panel,” she said. “There will be Q&A first from a moderator and then from the audience, so more of a discussion-type format.”
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We’re going to be addressing people’s concerns. There’s a lot of misinformation about the initiative.
Mikki Norris, a cannabis educator with Friends of Prop 64
The organizers said they are prepared to answer questions about how Prop 64 could change criminal laws, what to expect from the commercial system and where tax revenue would go, among other topics.
Californians will vote this fall on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and polls appear to show that Golden State residents will approve it. The ballot measure has garnered $6.53 million in campaign contributions, according to the latest records available.
Vazquez said she and other advocates have been traveling the state since March to speak with the “cannabis community” in cities around the state. She noted that many Central San Joaquin Valley cities have banned medical cannabis.
Atwater, Los Banos and other cities in the region have placed outright bans on medical cannabis cultivation and dispensaries. Livingston, Merced and the unincorporated parts of the county have made room for cultivation by certified patients.
$6.53 millionHow much Prop 64 has garnered in campaign contributions
Another cannabis educator with the Friends of Prop 64, Mikki Norris, said many patients are anxious about the ballot measure because they’re concerned about what it would do to Proposition 215, the 1996 measure that legalized medical marijuana in the state.
“We’re going to be addressing people’s concerns,” she said. “There’s a lot of misinformation about the initiative.”
She noted that Prop 64, if passed, would allow anyone to grow up to six plants indoors or inside an enclosure. California residents would also be given priority to open dispensaries, she said, over those looking to move into the state for the same reason.
For more, find the event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/630393747116167/.