"If not, what are the expected impacts on 215 patients, caregivers and doctors?"
From what I have heard and read Prop 64 seems to be a trap. They are talking about "legalization" but what the biggest donors want (George Soros, Monsanto, big business, big government and investors) really want is "commercialization". If it was about legalization or decriminalization, how many pages would they need to write an effective proposition? It might take 5 pages. Instead this proposition is over 60 pages of rules, regulations and talk about money. This will drive up the prices of cannabis, push people into the black market, and continue to increase criminal prosecution, fines and money for law enforcement and government. It will take money out of the pocket of cannabis users and directly into big business and government.
Cannabis is an extrememly safe and effective herb that is useful for countless ailments. It should be legal to possess and grow by everyone in the world. However prop 64 is not the answer.
Prop. 64 explicitly protects the system that prop. 215 put in place, according to Dan Bradley, Director of Operations for the California Cannabis Industry Assn., of whom I asked this question last Wed. at a voter education forum.
Medical marijuana will still be available as it is today. As the cannabis industry adopts new regulations, we will see more companies operating in the space, using standard methods of quality control and process validation. The result will be higher quality products on the market, benefitting consumers in whole and especially medical patients.
One of the issues that Prop 64 does to the medical system is that to get the State tax deduction of 7.25% and whatever local taxes that are added by counties, the patient MUST register with the state to obtain a "official" cannabis card from California. Without it they will still be able to purchase medicinal cannabis at their local dispensary but will pay more. Whether or not the dispensaries will have a separate "line" for medicinal or recreational cannabis like Colorado is unknown at this point and will not be clear for several years. So Prop 64 does not in fact protect "every" aspect of Prop 215.
One was to look at it is that the tax on medical cannabis should be as low as possible to give people with medical conditions every opportunity, cost wise, to heal themselves. The way some politicians feel is to tax everyone the same or otherwise everyone will remain "sick". Of course its also the way to generate the most revenue.
Perry Solomon, MD