Regulate marijuana like wine?

August 6, 2011

Supporters are gathering signatures for an initiative that would decriminalize marijuana in California for those older than 21. The measure, dubbed the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act, would tax and regulate the cultivation, production and sale of cannabis using grape and wine industry standards. [CaliforniaWatch]

“We’re taking something that’s unregulated and we’re replacing it with a known successful program implemented by the California alcohol beverage control board,” said co-author Steve Kubby, who also helped draft and promote Proposition 215, California’s first medical cannabis law, to California Watch. “We know it works great with wine. It’s already in place.”

The measure, as it is currently written, would allow the state to tax people selling cannabis products under state rules that currently apply to wine and other alcoholic beverages, with an exception for hemp products.

“If you’re going to treat it like wine, you have to have an exemption for people who make their own wine or make their own cannabis,” Kubby said to California Watch. “Now, if they sell it, then they have to pay tax on it. The intent really is for your own stash at home.”

The initiative also bars state government and law enforcement officials from assisting the federal government in prosecuting individuals for marijuana use or cultivation, California Watch added.

“We all understand that federal law will trump state law in this regard,” said Jim Gray, a former judge and co-author of the measure. “So we’re telling the federal government, ‘We know you can enforce it, but if you’re going to, you have to do it by yourself. And by the way, you’re going to have to come to a jury of Californians, and I think getting a conviction would be problematic.’ ”

The initiative states that it would “not repeal, modify, or change” medical marijuana laws.

“We’re not touching anything that goes on with medical,” Kubby said to California Watch. “That stays the way it is. We don’t touch that. If it’s a medical grow and they sell to a dispensary, that’s outside of our initiative.”



  1. Typoqueen says:

    If this were to go through then California would be the wealthiest state in the country, even wealthier than many countries. There are still plenty of pot pharmas that the feds have been unsuccessful at closing or as soon as they close they reopen. This would be the answer to California’s financial problems. I wonder how the other states would deal with it. Would they have guards at the boarders of Mexico, Nevada, Org. and AZ to search for contraband? Would growers be allowed to export it? There would be a lot of issues to work out.

    I’m not sure why all the hate with wine. Veggies also screw up the soil and they also use a lot of chemicals as well. Vintners bring a lot of money to this county as well our state. Our wineries aren’t creating alcoholics, that’s just silly. There are more liquor stores and bars than wine tasting rooms, if an addict wants wine or booze they are more likely to head over to Bill’s Place or one of the neighborhood liquor store.

    (13) 23 Total Votes - 18 up - 5 down
    • connected one says:

      If you look at Colorado who chose to regulate cannibis sales with a retired police officer overseeing the licensing of the Farmacys (about $20,000 to start up with a lot of regulation) and the growers as well. The first month brought in about 12 million dollars which has helped the state out of a deficit. Useage of marijuana, crime, etc. has not gone up, the only thing that has changed is the state is able to pay it’s bills.

      (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
      • Duncan20903 says:

        Why strain your eyes looking at Colorado when you can do as well if not better by looking at California? The California Board of Equalization said that the State pocketed in excess of $100 million from sales tax collected by the State’s authorized medicinal cannabis vendors. For those keeping score at home, gross revenue subject to sales tax @ 8.25% is well in excess of $1 billion. That’s without even scratching the surface of the total California cannabis retail distribution chain.

        (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
  2. justme says:

    We need the noisey, and most of all CORNY wine making industry outa the county. Back to vegtables and normal people please.
    First of all the land has to be prepared to support vino. Clawed 6 feet deep then injected with sterilizing chemicals which ruins it for future vegtable crops. It’s just growing booze when half the world is starving really.
    The rich guys and dot com sellouts look goofy in jeans anyway.

    (-7) 33 Total Votes - 13 up - 20 down
    • WiseGuy says:

      Thank you, “justme”. What you wrote is one of the wisest things I’ve read here.

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  3. getthefacts says: The Medical Marijuana Council has much information that surprised me about marijuana that is provided by marijuana doctors who have been studying, researching, and dealing with patients treated with marijuana. There are many facts about marijuana and real life cases treated successfully with marijuana.

    (18) 20 Total Votes - 19 up - 1 down
  4. Numbersix says:

    Before making another addiction legal steps should be taken to deal with alcoholism.
    Higher taxes, ads run in papers and TV showing the physical and mental/human costs. Labels on bottles with graphic pictures along the lines of cigarettes.
    There should also be a restriction on the number of local events allowed to pour wine. It is out of control.
    There can be only one end result to all this wine. More alcoholics.

    I would suggest that all sales of alcohol go into a database that needs ID driving lic. This database tracks the users alcohol purchased on a daily bases and restricts abuse. Not perfect but excessive daily alcohol purchases should be illegal.

    (-46) 66 Total Votes - 10 up - 56 down
    • isoslo says:

      But the people want to drink, stop trying to control people’s behavior, plus who is goving to pay for your control effort, the government?

      (28) 34 Total Votes - 31 up - 3 down
    • pfroehlich2004 says:

      Given that marijuana is far safer than alcohol, its legalization would be a net benefit to public health as at least some drinkers would choose to reduce their alcohol consumption in favor of non-toxic cannabis.

      (31) 35 Total Votes - 33 up - 2 down
    • jimmy_me says:

      It seems every social class has a code word for getting drunk. The seemingly lower classes say “let’s go get plastered!”. The seemingly higher classes and higher-class wannbees say “let’s go wine tasting”. Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s all the same stuff.

      (13) 21 Total Votes - 17 up - 4 down
    • Duncan20903 says:

      It’s simply hogwash that ingesting a substance will turn a person into a degenerate addict whether it’s drinking alcohol, heroin, meth, or cocaine. Degenerate addicts are born, not made. One thing that degenerate addicts all have in common is that none of them give a damn about the law. You’re out of your mind if you think there’s a single degenerate addict that’s and altar boy singing in the church choir on Sundays and Wednesdays, volunteering full time at the soup kitchen, and helping diminutive elderly women negotiate busy traffic intersections in the rest of his spare time. <— That's a research study done on rats way back when Tricky Dick was still POTUS. The researchers built Rat Park as a stress free environment for rats. It gave them all the things that their little rat hearts could desire. Before the rats were moved in they spent 57 days being injected with large quantities of morphine. Remember that heroin is metabolized back into morphine by the liver. The only difference is the amount needed.

      Anyway, the research administrators then moved the newly addicted rats into Rat Park. In Rat Park the rats had a choice of plain water or morphine infused water.With the exception of about 2% the rats rejected the morphine and quit when given the opportunity.

      Yes, lots and lots of degenerate addicts will tell you, oh if they never had the opportunity that they wouldn't be addicts. It's puerile hogwash, if it wasn't the one thing it would have been the other.

      Regardless of that assertion when you start trying to classify people who enjoy cannabis into that cohort you're so far out in left field you're just plain out of the ballpark. Prohibition is a time tested and proven failure of public policy and insisting on maintaining a program of guaranteed failure is just plain stew-pid.

      (5) 15 Total Votes - 10 up - 5 down
      • Numbersix says:

        “One thing that degenerate addicts all have in common is that none of them give a damn about the law.”

        “Degenerate addicts” I wouldn’t call Judges, Lawyers, School Principles and other upstanding citizens that have been busted degenerates. These folk are far from being rats. The vast majority of unhealthy alcohol abusers are upstanding people who need a crutch. They use booze to help them. I just believe that there is a unhealthy exceptence of alcohol use that walks a very fine line.

        How many of you come home everyday and say “I got to have a beer” or a glass of wine. Probably ends up being more than one. How many of you have that second or third brew before driving home because you don’t have a problem, you can handle it.

        Yet to hear about that driver who killed someone because they had one too many Crystal Springs.

        (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
      • Cindy says:

        I have to agree when Duncan say’s “if it wasn’t the one thing it would have been the other”. It’s common knowledge that addicts often trade one addiction for another. This is cited in all the literature surrounding addiction and that is why AA insists on no medications for people in recovery. They will often times stop drinking and become addicted to something else.

        I recall back when cocaine was the “in thing” to do, many professionals used it believing that it was harmless. When it became apparent that it was addictive and not so harmless, everybody (that I knew) barring one, stopped within a matter of months of each other. No one had to go to rehab (barring one) and I never heard anybody say, “well now what social drug can we use, for fun” (barring one)!

        At the same time, I have seen people replace alcoholism , addiction to cigarette smoking and even pain killers with marijuana. I’ve never heard of a pot smoker getting lung cancer in fact there is evidence that marijuana can ward off cancer. I’ve never heard of anyone over dosing on it either, in fact it has never happened. If some individuals must be addicted to something , that is “if they MUST BE ADDICTED to something”, I can guarantee that they will be much nicer people addicted to marijuana rather than alcohol or other drugs.

        (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
        • Numbersix says:

          Interesting read. I suspect there are a few “moderate” drinkers in the 50 that disliked my post that need to look in the mirror. Also one 12-ounce beer has about the same amount of alcohol as one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. It is the amount of alcohol consumed that affects a person most, not the type of alcoholic drink. Don’t forget to finish the bottle!

          Personally I think alcohol is a major problem in society and the regulation of it has been poorly done. For that reason I cannot agree on regulating marijuana the same way.
          However for medical use marijuana should be legal now everywhere.

          (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
      • Typoqueen says:

        You’re right Duncan, an addict is an addict. It is very naive of jimmy to believe that wine tasting is an excuse or another term for getting plastered. If the ‘higher class wannabees ‘ wanted to get plastered then they would go buy some booze and get plastered. Wine has a lower percentage of alcohol so I believe that in most cases people,,,even the ‘ higher class-wannabees’ wouldn’t drink wine to get plastered. I don’t get to go often but I enjoy wine tasting. I would love to go this weekend to a pretty vineyard with a picnic basket and enjoy overlooking the vineyard with a bottle of our fine local wine and a few good friends, and when my kids move out I plan on doing that once a month.

        (-4) 4 Total Votes - 0 up - 4 down
  5. mrcyberdoc says:

    Federal law trumps state law. Even if the law passes, the feds would shut down any activity. The law would be meaningless. Just look at the medical marijuana stores. Get real potheads, it’s illegal, so smoke your joint in the closet and enjoy.

    (-38) 54 Total Votes - 8 up - 46 down
    • pfroehlich2004 says:

      It’s alright dear, the feds will save you from those evil potheads.

      Of course, it’ll be pretty tough to bust all the pot shops in California when they have to do it on their own. California has over 90,000 state and local police officers. The DEA has roughly 5,000 special agents to police the entire world.

      5,000 federal narcs versus more than 2 million California “potheads”. Do the math, mrcyberdoc.

      (19) 21 Total Votes - 20 up - 1 down
      • racket says:

        I am sure the insidious feds will find a hook to ensure the continued participation of the state/local cops. Something like withholding fed funds for school lunches until CA agrees to continue enforcing fed law.

        I couldn’t care less about marijuana legalization, but I care greatly about the government overstepping its authority.

        (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down
        • LittleAcorn says:

          I’m for legalization, but I’d like for it to be illegal to grow it on property that you don’t own or rent.

          I’m suddenly thinking that making it legal in Ca and illegal elsewhere will make Ca a destination for growing it.

          (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
          • Cindy says:

            Wow, Good Point and I think you’re right on target. People would definitely come here to grow it seasonally. It would become dangerous to hike into the forest or even into areas where undeveloped vast acreage is unattended, less we should happen upon some out of state/country drug dealers big crop. I agree with you 100% and I think it’s a MUST that this “land ownership/right of use by contract” is written into the Cal AG regulations and guidelines with stiff penalties and jail for offenders.
            Hummm The NTF will also like this! There will still be people who grow illegally just like they do now and they will “still get to BUST THEM!!” I should think the NTF would suffer severe withdrawals if marijuana no longer provided them an opportunity for a good wild a$$ raid.

            (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
    • madmatt6773 says:

      It won’t be just Cali the feds have to worry about, Ore, Nev, WA, CO, and maybe a few others are all planning on making a run at legalization. Since the feds will overreact and send the bulk of their manpower to states legalizing recreational use it will help take the heat of of the rest of the states with Medical Marijuana. It will also mean fewer resources for them at the border allowing the cartels a freer hand.
      If they want to withhold funds from Cali it could bankrupt our already financially troubled state. We go bust and we’ll drag the rest of the country down with us and they know it. Withholding funds is an empty threat. Do it and the Great Depression will look like a gold rush.
      And just where are they going to put all of their new prisoners? It’ll choke the federal court and prison system, they’ll be overwhelmed. Not to mention what that will do to public opinion.
      Like a cornered animal that knows it’s about to meet it’s demise the feds will no doubt go down shrieking and howling while foaming at the mouth. Don’t be surprised when they try to take everyone around them down with them. They would rather leave a barren scorched landscape behind than surrender.

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
    • Duncan20903 says:

      mrcyberdoc you shouldn’t hang out a shingle and try to play lawyer like you do on the Internet. You really haven’t the faintest grasp of the legal intercourse between the sovereigns in our system of dual sovereignty. I should look at the significant number of State authorized medicinal cannabis vendors that have been operating for years and years without running into a problem with the feds because why?

      You believe that the Feds will “shut down any activity” because why? We’re in the 15th year of the CUA and things just haven’t gone as you seem to think they should, but that doesn’t make you question why the Feds aren’t acting like you seem to think they should?

      The Feds told Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to withdraw her baseless Federal lawsuit trying to shut down Arizona’s medicinal cannabis patient protection law, implement the law, and to pixx off. So much for the Feds will shut it down.

      The Compassionate Use Act has been in front of the SCOTUS 4 times. How does a person that pretends to be a lawyer on the Internet explain why they didn’t take those opportunities to strike the law down?

      (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
  6. rallyraid says:

    I believe its more a case our Gov financially taking advantage thru taxation on something they’ll never be able to control. Can you imagine what SLO county would look like with vineyards turned into dope fields because Ganja is more profitable for the growers. The name “SLO” county will never be truer.

    (-10) 20 Total Votes - 5 up - 15 down
    • WiseGuy says:

      Sounds like a good strategy to win voter approval. Just goes to show there are some very wise pot supporters out there.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  7. danika says:

    It will happen in time. The days of government’s attitude of “because I say so”…simply are over. The people will be heard over the rabble.

    (54) 56 Total Votes - 55 up - 1 down
    • justme says:

      ….but they won’t be heard over the gunshots, danika. Gov’ts don’t just lay down. We’re heading for an Arab Spring-like scenario presently. Oil, Israel, intl’ banking cartels rule world politics today and the U.S. is the most affected by these three influences.

      (-4) 16 Total Votes - 6 up - 10 down
      • Cindy says:

        “Gov’t s don’t just lay down”

        Neither do the people they are supposed to be serving.

        (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down

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