All About AUMA: Getting California Legalization Right

One California legalization campaign dubbed the “Sean Parker Initiative”, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) has double the signatures needed.

One California legalization campaign dubbed the “Sean Parker Initiative”, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act is 1 of 2 in the state that is trying to get to voters this fall. Supporters say that it has collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, and then some.

Busting the bar

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In order to get on the ballot for November, AUMA (the Adult Use of Marijuana Act) needed 365,000 valid signatures by July 5th. Any measure hoping to succeed has to pull in more than the minimum requirement to account for errors and invalid signatures, as activists in Maine have discovered.

The AUMA has gone above and beyond, securing over 600,000 signatures before the campaign has even officially kicked off. With the support of the nation’s leading marijuana advocacy groups, big businesses, and backed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, it looks well on its way to becoming Californian legalization law this year.

What it entails

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AUMA is a hefty document, with over 60 pages of wording. It would allow 1 ounce of marijuana and cultivation of six marijuana plants for adults 21 and older, with a 15% tax on retail sales. It includes 5-tiers of cultivation licenses, 6 tiers of commercial licenses, and dozens of specifications of law for local, county, and state regulation.


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  • Those with previous convictions can appeal their sentence under the new law
  • Localities will be able to allow on-site consumption (cafes)
  • Taxes will pay for regulation, then education, economic development, Highway Patrol, research, youth drug education, environmental protection, and law enforcement
  • Localities cannot interfere with lawful delivery of marijuana across their jurisdictions
  • Localities can regulate personal grows, but cannot ban indoor growing
  • Localities can restrict time, place, and manner of licensees, but not enact complete bans without a vote of the people
  • Advertising must be unappealing to minors


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  • Employers can still enforce “drug-free workplaces” and landlords can ban personal possession and growing on their properties
  • Licensees must be California residents as of January 1, 2015, until the expirations of the requirement in 2020
  • Licensees may not engage in free product giveaways
  • Advertising is limited to mediums with >=71.6% adult audience, no freeway billboards, 1,000ft from schools
  • Marijuana will be taxed at 15% excise tax, plus $9.25/oz flower harvest and $2.75/oz leaf harvest tax. Plus potential local and county taxes


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This is just a start in understanding all the stipulations involved in the proposed law. With 60+ pages of wording, it can seem a tough pill for voters to wrap their heads around. Those who support MCLR (the Marijuana Control, Legalization, & Revenue Act), say that it leaves glaring loopholes that could oust the protections of Prop 215, and it doesn’t give enough protection to patients and small business farmers.

Localities with high populations of anti-cannabis voters could strip the rights of patients and recreational users in their jurisdictions through popular vote. It also forces all patients to obtain a new recommendation by a physician that meets the strict standards of MMRSA (Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act), which was passed in 2015, which stripped patient rights.

For a better breakdown of what both do or do not protect, California Cann made a handy table summary here.

What California legalization boils down to

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Comparing the two propositions is an exercise in patience and legal understanding, but as of now, at least one of them is going to be on the ballot. For recreational use proponents in the state, anything is better than the failure that happened a few years ago.

In 2010, California tried to become the first state to pass recreational use, but was flooded with so many proposals, that none were able to secure enough signatures to be voted on. By breaking the pro-adult use crowd into multiple groups, it weakens the effect of their voice. Californians aren’t likely to make the same mistake this year, but whether they make a different one, only time will tell.

Show your support for AUMA and vote here.

Do you think the California legalization laws will pass recreational use this year? Do you think AUMA is the right choice? Share your concerns on social media or in the comments below.