Patients, farmers and concerned citizens gathered in San Francisco on October 21, at a Halloween-themed educational forum to help each other understand the 62-page cannabis “legalization” tax, Proposition 64, on the California ballot: Is it a treat or a trick?
“Patients are really frightened by the reality of no longer having access to affordable medical cannabis, due to the huge taxes placed upon cultivation, which will be passed on to the patient and the consumer alike,” explained town hall facilitator Shona Gochenaur, director of Axis of Love SF, a San Francisco based patient advocate organization which hosted the town hall meeting.
That’s where I came in. As a journalist who covered the I-502 quasi-legalization campaign in Washington state, and the devastation done by that particular law to the patient community, especially after it was “augmented” by SB 5052, I had some knowledge to share with my California friends.
Shona wanted to know the impact the implementation of recreational “legalization” had upon patient access in Washington state, and what might happen as a result of Prop 64, and I was happy to share that. It should come as no great surprise that the ascendancy of money and corporate control in the cannabis industry in Washington has assuredly taken the focus away from helping patients and toward helping pocketbooks — but unfortunately, mostly the ones that already had plenty in them.
The other Prop 64 panelists were journalist and industry insider, Dragonfly de la Luz, who has been educating voters via her blog VoteKNOWprop64 (De la Ruz decoded the proposal as a step backwards for social justice and communities of color) and Lelehnia du Bois of Humboldt Gracem who spoke of the confusion and urgency the northern California farming community faces in preparation for structured prohibition, due to a only limited amount of small farmers being able to secure legal cultivation permits.