Voters in the Golden State are going to have a lot of decisions to make come November. They need to pick which Presidential candidate they hate they least, they got to decide whether they want weed (they do), and they’ll also choose whether some of the proceeds of legal marijuana sales are going to go to help the state’s homeless population.

A 10 percent tax would be added to the gross receipts of both cultivators and distributors of cannabis, and go to pay for healthcare and housing for the homeless. If approved, that hike is projected to raise between $78 and $130 million a year to help the state’s staggering homeless population, which numbers approximately 116,000 people, or 21 percent of the nation’s total homeless.

The impending Proposition 64 which, would legalize California cannabis, has both supporters and detractors in the pro-marijuana community. Some feel that legalization could constrain the medical marijuana market, which is doing a fair job of serving patients as is.

“If it is legalized, more people who don’t respect it and just want to get high are going to take advantage of that,” Alexandra Rice, a patient who suffers from both lupus and depression told The Cannabist. “And people who genuinely need it as medicine will be misplaced and thrown to the side.”

Prop. 64 would indeed put a new system of regulations in place for medical marijuana, but those regulations are likely to be more of a hangup for sellers than it is for patients. Though the carried proposition would impose at least one tax (two, if the homelessness measure is passed), patients would be exempt from paying a state sales tax. Legalization would also likely cause an influx of marijuana product on the market–again, more likely to be bad for those in the business than consumers.

The measure will appear on ballots this November and was approved 3-2 by the state’s Board of Supervisors, as reported by The Associated Press.


Photo via Flickr user Ian Sane