Not all California marijuana farmers want pot legalized

Rolie Gonzalez III displays a branch of marijuana buds on the farm of grower Laura Costa, near Garberville, Calif. Costa opposes the passage of Proposition 64, on the November ballot, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana, fearing that corporate interests and big farms will put small growers out of business. 

Rich Pedroncelli, AP

GARBERVILLE, Calif. — California voters will decide in November whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, 20 years after the state first allowed medicinal pot. It could mean a windfall for marijuana farmers in the state – but not all of them support it.

Polls show the November ballot measure is ahead, and proponents have raised more than $23 million to promote it. That compares with $1.6 million contributed to the campaign fighting the measure known as Proposition 64.

The proposal has deeply divided marijuana farmers in the heart of Northern California’s pot-growing region.

Many farmers are concerned that legalization would bring many unwanted changes to their industry, including costly regulation and taxes. They also fret that the law would usher in an era of lower prices and an influx of deep-pocketed corporations who could put smaller farms out of business.

Others say it’s time to end criminalization and make sure California doesn’t fall behind.

CBS San Francisco reports the measure would allow the legal use of one ounce or less of marijuana by adults 21 and over in California. It would also allow adults to cultivate up to six plants for personal use in a private, enclosed space.

Supporters say legal recreational marijuana would generate about $1 billion a year in tax revenues for the state.

Similar laws are already in place in Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Oregon. Measures addressing recreational marijuana use are also on the November ballot in Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.