Waldo Jaquith

California’s Largest Medical Association Endorses Recreational Cannabis Initiative

The California Medical Association (CMA), the largest body representing the state’s practicing physicians, released a statement Monday in support of a 2016 ballot measure that would legalize marijuana for recreational use.

In addition to the CMA, the initiative is being backed by a cohort of entrepreneurs, cannabis activists, environmental groups and state politicians led by tech investor Sean Parker.

In a statement, CMA President Steven Larsen said:

“The California Medical Association believes the Adult Use of Marijuana Act is a comprehensive and thoughtfully constructed measure that will allow state officials to better protect public health by clarifying the role of physicians, controlling and regulating marijuana use by responsible adults and keeping it out of the hands of children.”

Spokeswoman Molly Weedn noted that the CMA is specifically interested in the initiative’s provision that would expand research on cannabis’s medical properties.

“We feel that this initiative specifically is in line with the concerns we had for better monitoring and research of cannabis,” she said.

The ballot measure would authorize adults 21 and older to purchase up to an ounce of cannabis at one time and to grow up to six plants. Non-medical sales would be subject to an excise tax of 15 percent.

The state has estimated that the move could bring in as much as $1 billion in new tax revenues.

The measure’s supporters need to gather some 366,000 signatures by July 5th in order for the initiative to make it to November’s ballot.

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