California Police Chief- Fall 2013 CPCA_2019_Spring Magazine- FINAL - Page 36

By Captain Steve Gorski, Walnut Creek PD for such substantial changes to Prop 64 so soon after its passage. Let’s recap how legalization was sold to California voters. Before the 2016 election, the pro-cannabis Drug Policy Alliance estimated tax revenue would bring in $1.4 billion annually. The figure was quickly adopted and disseminated in news stories. The official 2016 election Voter Guide lowered the estimate slightly when the Argument in Favor of Proposition 64 stated: “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.” Just over two years into legalization, the cannabis industry is attempting to rewrite critical elements of Proposition 64. Taxes and regulations, the argument goes, are too high and complex. The competitive disadvantage allows the black market to thrive making it hard for those going legal to compete. It is not news to anyone reading these pages that cannabis’ influence in Sacramento is becoming more entrenched every year. Law enforcement and public health organizations are already having trouble matching their financial capabilities, and political reach. This may explain why the industry feels emboldened to advocate 36 California Police Chief | www.californiapolicechiefs.org