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State Report Suggests Marijauna Legalization Could Save On California Prison Costs

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new state report suggests California could cash in if the state legalized recreational marijuana.

Some in the medical marijuana industry are concerned that if it is commercialized, the focus could fall on profits instead of patients

Shayna Schonauer with the River City Phoenix medical marijuana dispensary in Sacramento is concerned how an initiative sent to the attorney general's office may affect her client's medical treatment.

"First and foremost I think the patients should come before anybody else before recreational users," she said.

The state's legislative analyst's office says the proposal would allow people 21 years old or older to legally possess, sell, transport, process, and cultivate marijuana with some restrictions.

The report says California could add millions of dollars to state coffers if it legalized marijuana by reducing the number of marijuana offenders in prisons and jails, reducing probation supervision costs, reducing criminal court cases, and increased sales-tax revenue.

The report also says it could bring unexpected costs, with a potential increase in state-funded rehabilitation programs.

Schonauer's biggest concern is wannabe entrepreneurs taking the low road to make a buck.

"Are they going to put the same care and concern behind it or are they going to be kind of mass produce it and get there just to make a profit from it?" she said.

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