By Jesse Rosales
Proposition 64 for recreational cannabis is expected to be voted into California state law on the Nov. 6 ballot with large support. The Los Angeles Times reported in September that 58 percent of California voters support the legalization. Yet, in regards to cannabis, Cal Poly Pomona has no intention of changing campus policies.
The campus has a strict stance against cannabis, as well as other controlled substances. University Housing Services has a zero-tolerance policy on the use or possession of any drug, resulting in a possible eviction on the first offense. The Student Conduct Code also states that the use or promotion of drugs is prohibited.
Megan M. Stang, executive director of UHS, explained the current situation of cannabis on campus.
“In the University Housing Services portfolio, there has been an increase in conduct cases over the last three years related to marijuana,” said Stang.
Lieutenant Aaron Eaton of the University Police commented on how the university is preparing for the upcoming election.
“There has been no discussion so far between the president and her cabinet,” said Eaton. He explained that the police department is aware of Proposition 64 possibly passing.
Eaton recently attended a conference in Colorado about the changes seen there after legalization.
According to Eaton, CPP did not change its policies after the passing of Proposition 215 in 1996, which granted exemption of criminal charges to patients and caregivers recommended by a physician to use and cultivate medicinal cannabis. CPP does not recognize individuals in possession of a Proposition 215 medical card.
The conduct code explains, “The California State University, including Cal Poly Pomona, receives federal funding in the form of student financial aid and grants that would be in jeopardy if those federal laws did not take precedence in our policies.”
The passing of Proposition 64 is expected to make large tax contributions from its regulation. Last year, The Cannabist newspaper reported that Colorado brought in $996 million in 2015 from their legal sales with a population of only five million. California has a population of 32 million.
Tax revenue from California cannabis sales would be used for research, administration and enforcement of the new measure.
The remaining revenue would go towards repairing environmental damage from illegal cannabis producers and funding programs to reduce DUIs and negative health impacts, youth programs, drug education and treatment programs.
Exact figures and increasing of funding can be found on the Proposition 64 BallotPedia online.
Governor Jerry Brown and the California Legislature passed three bills in 2015, (Assembly Bills 243 and 266 and Senate Bill 643) creating a regulation framework for medical cannabis. The Department of Consumer Affairs is also beginning to establish the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation. These new state regulations are expected to be completed by 2018.
With the potential end of cannabis prohibition, an end to the black market is expected to follow, although that is not the case in Colorado. The legalization of cannabis has resulted in a rise in legal retail prices, so the black market there is flourishing due to its lower prices.
Mason Tvert, a member of the Colorado Marijuana Policy Project, explained that while illegal cannabis offers a cheaper price, it does not offer the perks of “variety, convenience and safety” available from legal retailers.
Although California may be joining 25 other states and the District of Columbia in enacting cannabis legalization, CPP will still follow federal law and continue to prohibit the use of cannabis on campus.
Eviana Vergara / The Poly Post
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