AUMA Legalization Measure on November Ballot as Prop. 64

July 1, 2016 - Californians will have the opportunity to vote on an initiative to legalize recreational use of marijuana this November 8th. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) has officially qualified for the ballot by collecting over 600,000 signatures and will appear as Proposition 64.

The major funder for AUMA is Napster founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker (pictured), and the measure is endorsed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who convened a Blue Ribbon panel on legalization last year. It also has the support of the California Medical Association, California Democratic Party, California NAACP, ACLU of California, California Cannabis Industry Association, Drug Policy Alliance, MPP, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and national NORML, among others.

Like similar initiatives in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, AUMA offers an important, if imperfect, step towards legalization. While AUMA is an unusually lengthy and complicated initiative with numerous restrictions and regulations (see a detailed analysis), its basic thrust would be to (1) legalize private adult use and possession of one ounce or less of marijuana; (2) legalize cultivation of up to six plants for personal use in a private, enclosed space; (3) reduce penalties for cultivation, sale, transport, and possession with intent to sell from mandatory felonies to misdemeanors in most cases; (4) allow prior offenders to petition the court for dismissal of charges that have been decriminalized; (5) legalize, license and regulate the commercial sales and production of marijuana for adult use along lines similar to the state’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act; and (6) allow on-site consumption in specifically licensed facilities, unlike previous initiatives in Colorado and elsewhere.

AUMA would in no way detract from the existing rights of qualified Prop. 215 patients to possess and cultivate for personal use. It would protect the child custody rights of qualified patients, and prohibit localities from completely banning indoor cultivation. However, it explicitly does not interfere with the right of employers to discriminate against marijuana users­—medical or otherwise—both on and off the job, nor require localities to allow legal safe access to medical marijuana.

Although AUMA would make it lawful for adults to consume marijuana, it forbids consumption in any public place except for licensed outlets when authorized by local governments. Cal NORML is concerned that this will reduce the locations where medical patients can inhale their medicine, as they can presently consume legally in streets and public areas where smoking is permitted. Compounding this problem is that AUMA defines vaporizing as smoking, despite compelling scientific evidence that smokeless electronic vaporizers pose no public health hazard. Violators would be subject to a $100-$250 ticket.

AUMA would raise up to $1 billion in state tax revenues by imposing a $9.25 per ounce tax on all commercially cultivated cannabis, plus a hefty 15% excise tax in addition to the existing sales tax and local taxes. Medical marijuana patients with a state ID card would be exempt from the existing 7.5+% state sales taxes, but not the other taxes. California NORML is seriously concerned that these taxes could be unduly burdensome to needy patients and promote illicit black-market trafficking.

The tax revenues from AUMA would be allocated to specific programs, as follows: $3 million would be sent annually to the CHP to establish driver protocols, $2 million to UCSD to study the “efficacy and adverse effects” of marijuana, and $10 million to study the implementation of AUMA each year. After that, 60% would go to youth drug education; 20% toward clean up of environmental damage, and 20% more to CHP and local government grants for training, law enforcement and public safety. These provisions could not be amended by the legislature until 2028.

Adult use sales would commence Jan. 1, 2018, contingent on local government licensing. As at present, local governments could prohibit any and all marijuana facilities, but they would stand to lose Prop 64 grants for law enforcement if they ban cultivation or sales.

Polls are showing good support for legalization in California. The Public Policy Institute of California reported 60% support when voters are asked if they think the use of marijuana should be legal. Support has risen 5% since PPIC asked the same question in March 2015, and 11% since May 2010.

Opposing the measure are the California Police Chiefs Association, California State Sheriffs’ Association, California Peace Officers Association, and California Hospital Association.

Existing small cultivators have expressed concern about AUMA’s provision for a Type 5 cultivator’s license above MMRSA’s limit of ½ acre indoors or 1 acre outdoors, although no Type 5 licenses are to be issued before 2023. Licensing priority must be given to applicants who can demonstrate compliance with the Compassionate Use Act since Sept. 1, 2016, and all licensees must be continuous California residents as of Jan. 1, 2015. (The residency restriction sunsets on Dec. 31, 2019.) While MMRSA limits vertical integration for commercial operations, AUMA would allow a single business to hold multiple licenses for cultivation, manufacturing, retail sales and distribution. AUMA also omits MMRSA’s transporter’s license, and adds a microbusiness license category. The state must investigate the feasibility of creating nonprofit license categories with reduced fees or taxes by Jan. 1, 2018.

Observers agree that a victory for legalization in California would be a powerful boost for marijuana reform both nationally and internationally; in contrast, a defeat would inevitably be interpreted as a major setback for marijuana legalization in general.

At a Cal NORML membership meeting on June 9 in Oakland, attendees unanimously indicated they would vote for AUMA, though many expressed misgivings about certain provisions. “AUMA is only a partial step towards complete legalization, which will require changing federal law,” commented California NORML director Dale Gieringer. “Even if it passes, we will still have our work cut out for us to strengthen and defend the rights of patients and consumers to use marijuana.”

“We have to keep our eye on the goal, which is ending marijuana prohibition and establishing a legal market where consumers can obtain their marijuana,” says NORML founder and legal counsel Keith Stroup. “We simply must not permit the differing views regarding some of the details of legalization to be used to divide us and maintain prohibition.”

See full text of AUMA


A concerned Washingtonian:
Its unfortunate to see the current medical marijuana system in California is under the the "gun" so to speak with Prop 64 "AUMA." what is more unfortunate is that they state nothing about how "they" not the people plan on eradicating California's current medical marijuana laws and programs. This is not for the people, this is for state revenue threw taxation, period. The first 2 pages of the initiative directly bash PROP 215 for supporting illicit operations, underage use, and long time cultivators of tax evasion threw "violent drug cartels and transnational gangs."
Is prop 215 abused by such organizations, sure however other federal and local governing bodies regulate and prosecute such activity.
Prop 215 needs AMENDMENTS not RATIFICATION to better protect environmental aspects and better generate taxation at a state level and better supply the patients with clean meds.
It is my opinion they also made very poor decisions on where this money is going! 60% to youth drug education is a joke!
Bottom line California has molded this countries medical marijuana programs, and is world renown for quality and quantity of Grade A Cannabis. It will take time and amending and mass organization of this young emerging industry to get where the people want it today!
Get ready Cali, although I personally don't support AUMA just like I didn't support I-502 in my own state of WA I think there a strong chance it will pass.

Prop 64

NORML is doing a grave disservice to all by it's failure to fully explain why lawyers and advocates say NORMLs statements are misleading at the best. Prop 64 is a billionaires dream and will screw everyone else. it does not legalize, only permits one lousy ounce. That's it! You do not get to grow 6 plants it says up to 6 plants which could mean 1 plant grown indoors after you pay fees etc. You can still go to jail, prison.

What the proposition says

(a) Subject to Sections 11362.2, 11362.3, 11362.4, and 11362.45, but notwithstanding any other
provision of law, it shall be lawful under state and local law, and shall not be a violation of state or local law, for persons 21 years ofage or older to:

• Possess, plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process not more than six living marijuana plants and possess the marijuana produced by the plants

(a) Personal cultivation of marijuana under paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) a/Section 11362.1 is subject to the following restrictions:
(1) A person shall plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process plants in accordance with local ordinances, if any, adopted in accordance with subdivision (b) of this section.

(2) The living plants and any marijuana produced by the plants in excess of 28.5grams are kept within the person's private residence, or upon the grounds of that private residence (e.g., in an outdoor garden area), are in a locked space, and are not visible by normal unaided vision from a
public place.

(3) Not more than six living plants may be planted, cultivated, harvested, dried, or processed within a single private residence, or upon the grounds ofthat private residence, at one time. (b)(l) A city, county, or city and county may enact and enforce reasonable regulations to reasonably regulate the actions and conduct in paragraph (3) ofsubdivision (a) ofSection 11362.1.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), no city, county, or city and county may completely prohibit
persons engaging in the actions and conduct underparagraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 11362.1 inside a private residence, or inside an accessory structure to a private residence located upon the grounds ofa private residence that is fully enclosed and secure.

(3) Notwithstandingparagraph (3) of subdivision (a) ofSection 11362.1, a city, county, or city and county may completely prohibit persons from engaging in actions and conduct under
paragraph (3) ofsubdivision (a) of Section 11362.1 outdoors upon the grounds ofaprivate residence.

(4) Paragraph (3) of this subdivision shall become inoperable upon a determination by the California Attorney General that nonmedical use ofmarijuana is lawful in the State of California underfederal law, and an act taken by a city, county, or city and county underparagraph (3) shall be deemed repealed upon the date of such determination by the California Attorney General.

(5) For purposes ofthis section, ''private residence" means a house, an apartment unit, a mobile home, or other similar dwelling.


Use of Tax Revenue

After $15M to CHP, UCSD State-Funded Research, and Research on Implementation/Efficacy of AUMA, 60% goes to youth drug education, 20% to environmental change/clean up, and then another 20% to CHP.

While I support improving youth drug education, why not put a portion of this to the public school systems? There are plenty of underfunded areas that could use this money to develop skills-oriented education, as opposed to drug education.

Also, is there any discussion in regard to allowing residents of CA to grow their own cannabis? Or would it be necessary to hold a state license to do so? If I can go to the local market and buy everything I might need to produce home-brewed beer or liquor, why shouldn't I be able to do the same with cannabis (exchanging market for cannabis retail store, but you catch my drift).

I'm all for legalizing and producing revenue for the state that will help them research the legislature and benefits of cannabis, as well as increase efforts that will decrease crime, but can anyone provide more information on how this legislature will more positively impact the regular cannabis consumer, other than that part of their purchase will produce revenue for the state?? Thanks.

Benefits to consumers

Yes, people can grow their own, up to 6 plants, for recreational use under AUMA. There is no need for a state license and we do not support the need for local licenses for personal grows. Medical marijuana patients will still be able to grow what they need for their medical use (where local zoning regulations allow). Under Prop. 64 locals may not ban cultivation of up to 6 plants in a private residence or a locked space.

If Prop. 64 passes, there is no crime for possessing up to an ounce; currently it's an infraction with a fine. (There is, however, a new crime of smoking in public in AUMA).

If the measure passes, we will be on much more solid ground in pushing for further protections for marijuana consumers, e.g. employment rights (currently you can get fired for testing positive for marijuana even if you have a medical note). If it does not pass, it will be seen as a voters' mandate against legalization and it will be much harder to push for lesser penalties for marijuana crimes and other reforms.

We would like to have put Prop. 64 funds towards public schools, but the authors chose to put it elsewhere. Much of the funding is locked in for 10 years, but after than can be expanded upon.

Cal NORML has released a list of issues we'll be pushing for should Prop. 64 pass, at:


AUMA would raise up to $1 billion in state tax revenues by imposing a $9.25 per ounce tax on all commercially cultivated cannabis, plus a hefty 15% excise tax in addition to the existing sales tax and local taxes; PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $2.75 PER OUNCE ON LEAVES.

Inglorious basterd child of Prop 19

The AUMA is an initiative declaration of war on the poor, sick and dying. It is anti-human rights and targets uneducated, stupid, racist, biggoted, greedy voters. If you want more war and more prohibition, vote for the inglorious basterd child of Prop 19, Flop 64, also known as the AUMA.


Why is the AUMA offering unlimited taxation?

You'd have to ask the authors

The ReformCA initiative, which Cal NORML participated in writing, capped local taxes at 5%.

Prop 64 is a bait and switch for full corporate control

As goes Washington State, so will go California with this very poorly crafted initiative ( from the POV of Citizens Rights) Its a Boon for Corporations and Tax revenue that does NOT directly benefit taxpayers. The taxes will be used by the establishment to further implement terrible cannabis policy. This Prop 64 is a Solid foundation for the new Jim Crowe Laws...the WORST part is that it Gives the Legislature the ability to Amend, to the point of Furthering its purposes. And that purpose is to control regulate and it follows that the Elimination of ALL Home Growing and the demise of Medical is its direction after the government(corrupt politicians) is done amending. PLEASE DROWN THIS P.O.S. in its own bullshit, Vote NO

agreed... When the corporate STATE and Federal Corporation {U.S.

agreed... When the corporate STATE and Federal Corporation {U.S.A.] get involved. It does NOT help the "people."You simply have to take a look at the statutes and codes implemented in any field and realize it takes more than a law degree to overstand it, how could that be good for average people?

Even marriage and divorce... can you explain how the laws/CODES [ie. secret codes] work or do you have to hire an attorney and pay lots of money to separate? When did this start to become so much more complicated than "common law?"

It's going to be an unfortunate realization that home growing [the way God or nature intended it to be] and medical growing is controlled to a point that it is impractical to make your own oils, salves or own flowers.

The amount of taxation is RIDICULOUS! Why should some third and fourth party entities be entitled to so much TAX [someone recall "Boston Tea Party?] when all they are doing is:
1) giving you permission to grow, distribute, or manufacturer
and if you want to do this "Freely" without following rules,
2) they will harass, arrest and convict you for not complying.

Why don't they just lay down some FAIR rules, and forgo the tax and licenses? People only need regulation if they are harming others or causing a nuisance. Not paying for the privilege to grow a plant...

jus saying...

Tax, if any should be used to improve the throughput of any product or service. Not become THE barrier to profitablity or the ability to serve others or oneself. Freedom has long left the building.

Codes are not your friend. This maybe the best we can do up to now. But it is far far away from being equitable and fair. But codes are not designed to be fair, they are just rules of the corporations. And alas, we are a part of that game.


I agree!

All I want is for cannabis to be legal in California like any other agricultural product. I understand that means some environmental and sales regulations do need to be imposed, but why the glut of extra tax money for law enforcement and drug-related agencies (when all along we've simply been trying to get our government to recognize that cannabis is medicine)? I think this law does get it all wrong, because it's trying to legalize "marijuana" which is a totally offensive term anyway - they just slap cannabis users in the face over and over again with this language, and tell us to shut up and be happy cuz you're pot's gonna be legal at the end of the day. The government doesn't need all this special tax money from sales (sales taxes are already extremely high in CA) and the length of time on repeal of these massive payments is way too long. I think we do need 4 more years to make a law that has one simple provision making cannabis legal - and that's it. Not this long load of tax-grabbing BS.

Phony Poll Associations are not good

There is a lot of false equivalency in articles like the above that try and equate the "60% support for marijuana legalization" with the same level of the support for the AUMA.

That is wrong on several levels.

people looking at the disaster that is the AUMA, assuming they can make it through the 60+ pages, are properly ambivalent at best, and try to pick the gold dust from the cow pie as best they can.

We need to send Sean and his money packing, and get a proper, patient and home-grower protecting LEGALIZATION initiative on the ballot. This thing reads like a full employment wet dream for cops and lawyers.


You are correct that the PPIC poll mentioned here was on the topic of legalization, not on the AUMA initiative. Did not mean to imply otherwise.


Why would an adult use of Marijuana initiative have a section on HEMP? It wouldn't be tied to Soros and Monsanto would it? Yes, I'm afraid it would! This initiative is staged to lock in MMRSA without it being tested legally by the courts. I will be voting NO ON AUMA!

seems doubtful

We were asked to add hemp into the ReformCA initiative by another funder, not Soros.

The GMO rumor started on a satirical website.

How about the fact the NONE

How about the fact the NONE of the taxes from legalizing cannabis via AUMA will go into the general California fund. Zero taxes to schools, roads, etc.

It's the equivalent of someone offering freedom for your soul. Have you guys even read it?

certainly have read it

and pointed out repeatedly where the money is going:

The tax revenues from AUMA would be allocated to specific programs, as follows: $3 million would be sent annually to the CHP to establish driver protocols, $2 million to UCSD to study the “efficacy and adverse effects” of marijuana, and $10 million to study the implementation of AUMA each year. After that, 60% would go to youth drug education; 20% toward clean up of environmental damage, and 20% more to CHP and local government grants for training, law enforcement and public safety. These provisions could not be amended by the legislature until 2028.

PS Not all of us are "guys"

Where is the slush fund money going?

In NORML's $$ distribution above, I see no mention of the supposed $50 million annually that was supposed to go "the communities hardest hit" by Prop. 64.
Let's see: California has 58 counties, so there is a bidding war starting right from the get-go. Of those counties, each has a county seat, which gives those cities a leg up over the others. Then,there are three major cities: SF, LA, and SD, then places like Oakland, Riverside, San Bernardino, Bakersfield. After them, there are the rural towns up in the "Emerald Triangle" and the inland cash-poor areas like Barstow and the Yosemite area that surely will lay claim to being "hardest hit."

None of the slush fund will be disbursed through the State Allocation Board; all of the slush fund will be controlled exclusively by the Director of Marijuana Control.

You can see from NORML's response above that a huge chunk of the slush fund goes to the CHP (and other police apparatus)for programs that are already in existence and which already receive funding. $3 million annually to establish driver protocols? Isn't that baloney! Protocols are already firmly in place for DUI detection. Breath analysis for alcohol and for marijuana already exist. Walk a straight line, recite the alphabet without giggling like a schoolboy, follow the officer's finger -- these don't need $3 million per year!

60% (of $1 billion!) to youth drug education? But AUMA prohibits youth from using marijuana, so what's the problem? Has Nancy Reagan and her "just say no" programs disappeared, now to be replaced by Democratic cronies like those discredited charter schools, driving schools, DeVry and Trump universities and "learning centers" that offer matchbook-cover "master's degrees"?

$2 million annually to UCSD to study "efficacy & adverse effects" of marijuana? Why that university and not some other, for example, UC Merced, UC San Bernardino, or some school in the state university system? Why not one of the great Catholic universities or a Bible-belt college?

$10 million annually to study the implementation of AUMA? Who gets that? Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, NORML, WeedMaps, Americans for Safe Access??!


It goes to California public universities, not reform groups