California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 10

Legislative Update

By Chief Jennifer Tejada , Chair of the Law and Legislative Committee
It ’ s hard to imagine an election that decided so much , but left more unanswered . Enormous questions remain at the national and local level . What impacts should we expect in California following the national election ? How will the legalization of marijuana unfold ?
What will the early release of felons under Prop 57 do to already hard-pressed police departments ? And what course will the new members of the California Legislature take on law enforcement reform ?
One thing for sure , the election may be over but there is plenty of work to be done .
Despite a tireless effort of Cal Chiefs leadership and staff , California joined the growing list of states to legalize recreational marijuana by approving Proposition 64 . Today , adults over the age of 21 may legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana , and cultivate up to six plants . Additionally , penalties on transportation and sale have been reduced . Over the next year , the state will also have to develop regulations and state licensing standards for commercial sale and distribution . With the development of state retail licenses for marijuana , Cal Chiefs will have a chance to tighten the controls on commercial operations throughout the state . Additionally , we can expect numerous bills to be introduced next year to reinforce laws that guard against youth access and exposure to marijuana , and restrictions against smoking in public . If Colorado is any indication of what to expect , we can assume marijuana policy will be an ongoing debate for years to come .
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