Marijuana news update: sellers who were once convicted of drug-related crimes should be prohibited from opening their own dispensary, according to the new law.
According to the LA Times, people who were once involved with drug-related crimes are now stripped of the rights to sell medical marijuana. Marijuana industry leaders pointed that the latest law involving medical marijuana and drug convictions can potentially affect hundreds of growers. Caser O’Neill, chair of the California Growers Association suggests that around 30 percent of marijuana growers may be negatively affected by the new law including himself. He was once convicted of illegally growing marijuana in 2009 before the legalization took place. “It’s a huge issue,” O’Neill said. “Twenty-five to 30 percent of our members are in this boat. You have populations that have been disproportionately prosecuted for cannabis cultivation, and to then not be allowed to participate in the regulated economy, it’s like a double whammy,” O’Neill said. “It’s totally unacceptable.” then noted that the legislators’ aim to prohibit people affiliated with drug charges is to avoid problems in the future. Alice Huffman, the California State NAACP president stated that she does not want to have any loopholes when it comes to the legalization process. “I don’t think it will create a level playing field,” Huffman said. “There’s going to be a hole in our community. You can’t look away from that.” As the medical marijuana production continually progress, thousands including toddlers and babies benefit from it. The government argues that people who produce it should be liable and trustworthy in terms of producing quality medical marijuana. But the law affects all people who were convicted of even small drug-related crimes i.e. possession in states where cannabis was once illegal. Therefore, it it really that simple to make one law or are we making it too black and white when it calls for shades of gray?