[dropcap class=”kp-dropcap”]F[/dropcap]amous filmmaker Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes are asking lawmakers in California to allow digital signatures to be collected for an initiative that aims to be on the November ballot.
According to Marijuana Moment, the initiative is called the “California Cannabis Hemp Heritage Act,” and it would improve access to cannabis in the state by changing the policies current in place for taxes and license fees.
Smith and Mewes, also known for their roles as the characters Jay and Silent Bob among many other projects, asked California government officials via a Facebook video on March 14 to revise the signature gathering process so that signatures can be obtained online. “In legalizing weed recreationally, it kind of took a step back and now there are people that don’t have access to it,” Smith said. “Worse, there are some people being criminalized again.”
If this measure passes, there would be a 10 percent cap on cannabis sales excise tax, no tax for medical cannabis and 50 percent of cannabis revenue would help further develop the industry. “With the coronavirus striking, that means that our canvassers are not going to be able to get out and get signatures anymore,” the pair warned on Facebook. “So, what we’re asking—please, the state—will you this one time accept digital signatures? Being that we are in the middle of a pandemic and that it would be irresponsible to send people out to get signatures, will digital signatures be enough?”
The idea behind this change is to allow more folks who need access to cannabis the ability to source the plant. “We hear many complaints about lack of affordable access by medical patients,” Dale Gieringer of California NORML said. “Free samples and giveaways to needy patients are hard to come by. I don’t know any consumers who think the post-64 regime is preferable from the standpoint of product choice, cost, or access.”
Considering the fact that cannabis taxes have currently surpassed $1 billion, they could definitely still bring in plenty of income, even with a cap. State officials have also overturning cannabis convictions, so this would be another positive step to make cannabis more accessible.