Medical Marijuana Champion Doesn't Like New Ballot Proposal

"Tax Cannabis 2010" comes under fire from Prop 215's Dennis Peron

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, May 19, 2010  |  Updated 12:15 PM PDT
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Dennis Peron, the activist responsible for 1996's Proposition 215 that legalized the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes, doesn't like some of the new criminal provisions in the plan to otherwise decriminalize pot for recreational use.

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It turns out that the Tax Cannabis 2010 proposition that's headed for the November ballot has some detractors that you wouldn't expect.

Dennis Peron, the activist responsible for 1996's Proposition 215 that legalized the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes, doesn't like some of the new criminal provisions in the plan to otherwise decriminalize pot for recreational use.

It turns out that part of the initiative would make it criminal to use even medical marijuana in the presence of a minor, which might be called the "I learned it from watching you" provision.

Jeff Jones, who co-sponsored the measure, disagrees with Peron's assessment that the bill would create more criminal cases surrounding cannabis.

"Right now, if someone has a plant in their backyard, they can be a felon," Jones told the San Francisco Weekly. "We're trying to remove that felon status. You cannot tell me that [Tax Cannabis 2010] is worse than [penalties] we have right now."

Besides decriminalizing most recreational use, the measure would also provide for taxation of pot at the retail level, which supporters say could add $1 billion in revenue for the state of California.

Jackson West hates it when marijuana decriminalization advocates fight.

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