Unlike many other states in the country, there will be hundreds of new laws taking effect in California on January 1st, 2018. The state register will increase by scores of pages and create a whole new class of criminals yet again.
This year, there are a few different categories of Democrat super-majority dictates taking effect.
The Good: Recreational marijuana is now legal
Ballot Proposition 64 passed in November 2016 which set the date for legal recreational marijuana licenses to be issued on January 1st, 2018. Surprisingly, the state made no effort to extend that deadline. Instead, state and local regulators worked hard to make sure there was a legal framework in place by New Years Day.
While there are some exceptions, most cities will begin allowing sales this January.
Recreational marijuana sales will be legal to all adults over the age of twenty one. Anyone wishing to purchase marijuana at one of these new licensed stores must only provide their drivers licence to be able to purchase up to one ounce at a time.
The Bad: No more direct ammo shipments or unserialized firearms
While California voters did approve one positive ballot measure, they also passed an incredibly restrictive anti-gun initiative. Proposition 63 prohibits all direct-to-customer ammunition shipments outright.
From now on, any ammunition purchased online (assuming online sellers will still offer the option to ship to California) must be sent to a dealer with a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
In addition, starting July 1st, all self-produced firearms in the state will be required to request a serial number from the state Department of Justice.
Those two regulations are just the latest icing on the cake of restrictive regulations in California that punish law abiding gun owners.
The Ugly: Spreading HIV is no longer a felony
Although California is mired in debt, suffering from a housing crisis, and losing its tax base, one legislator had other priorities. State Senator Scott Wiener from San Francisco thought it was time to repeal the law that made it a felony to intentionally infect another person with HIV.
The lawmaker argued that because HIV was the only disease which it was felony to spread it stigmatized those with the disease, and resulted in discrimination against the LGBT community.
Shockingly, the law that made it a crime for those with HIV to donate blood without telling the blood bank has also been repealed.
The reason for the distinction between this disease and others is clear. HIV is a deadly virus. That is why it was made a felony to spread the disease in the first place, and the reason the law remains on the books in just about every other state.
The farther left California goes, the farther right Republicans move
After years of Democrat super-majority control of the state legislature, California has gone so far to the left that most who protest have already left for Nevada, Arizona, and Texas. The latest laws passed this year further restricting gun rights will only make those moves more appealing.
Fortunately, there weren’t all that many tax increases passed in 2017. Lawmakers may be extremely liberal, but they do realize they can only afford to push people so far before they make a break for a free state.
With the elimination of the SALT deductions in this year’s tax reform, Californians will be hit hard by the state’s high taxes this year. It could be enough to finally break the Democrat super-majority grip on the state legislature, and ensure that 2019 doesn’t see hundreds of new laws passed.