Ballot 2016: A Marijuana Tax To Fund Homeless Health, Housing Services
In November, Los Angeles County voters will decide on the measure, which county analysts estimated would raise as much as $130 million a year to pay for mental health and substance abuse treatment, among other services. Meanwhile, one lawmaker is worried about a separate ballot initiative -- one that would legalize marijuana.
Los Angeles Times:
County Marijuana Tax For Homeless Services To Appear On November's Ballot
Los Angeles County voters will decide this fall whether to tax marijuana businesses to help pay for housing and health services for the homeless. The ballot measure, approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, seeks to take a potentially significant new source of government revenues, from marijuana sales, and use it to address one of the region’s oldest and most intractable problems. L.A.’s homeless population has been rising in recent years, and the proposed pot tax is part of a larger effort by city and county officials to finally put significantly more money behind easing the problems. (Sewell, 7/12)
How Can You Tell If A Driver Is Stoned?
[State Assemblyman Tom] Lackey, a retired California Highway Patrol officer, wants the state to adopt a legal limit for THC -- the mind-altering ingredient in cannabis. Without it, he says, patrol officers must rely mostly on their own subjective judgment as to whether a driver is impaired. That, he says, makes many officers uncomfortable. (O'Neill, 7/13)
In other news, a separate initiative to provide new mental health facilities in Mendocino County gathers enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, and an arcane measure on the state ballot might flummox voters —
The Press Democrat:
Sales Tax Proposal For Mendocino County Psychiatric Care Facility Qualifies For Ballot
A sales tax proposal that would raise an estimated $23 million to $30 million over five years to provide new mental health facilities in Mendocino County has received enough qualified signatures to go on the November ballot. The half-cent sales tax proposal now heads to the Board of Supervisors, which will decide whether to place it on an upcoming ballot or ask for further studies on the impacts of the measure. (Anderson, 7/12)
Hospital Finance Measure On State Ballot May Stump Voters
California voters will be asked to weigh in this November on a hospital financing measure so politically and financially complicated that they might be tempted to avoid it altogether. The initiative, Proposition 52, would make permanent the “Hospital Quality Assurance Fee,” which the state collects from private hospitals to bring in additional federal dollars for Medi-Cal, California’s version of the federal Medicaid health care program for the poor. The federal government matches money that California puts up to fund Medi-Cal services. (Bartolone, 7/13)