LOS ANGELES, CA — A major labor union has thrown its support behind California’s November ballot initiative that would decriminalize and tax marijuana.
The 200,000-member United Food and Commercial Workers Union has officially given Prop. 19 its two thumbs up.
The proposition would allow pot users ages 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of cannabis. It would also leave regulation of marijuana retailers up to individual cities and counties so that in places like Los Angeles, local officials can maintain control over the area pot trade.
“We view Proposition 19 as an enhanced version of the previous proposition, that creates taxable revenue, and produces jobs in agriculture, health care, retail and possibly textile,” said George Landers, executive director of the food workers union. “We further believe that the proposition will deprive narco-traffickers of a significant source of criminal revenue.”
Stated Dan Rush of the union’s Local 5:
“The marriage of the cannabis-hemp industry and UFCW is a natural one. We are an agriculture, food processing and retail union, as is this industry. We are proud to represent our cannabis workers and we’re determined to create a responsible, safe and effective industry not only for our members, but for the communities that we live in and work in too.
“We have only just begun to organize this industry.”
Local 5 has around 26,000 members in California and has already started a drive to organize workers in the expanding marijuana industry, with about 100 of the pot workers already having joined as members.
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