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Going Green: Californians Get Vote on Marijuana
Officials in California announced an initiative to legalize marijuana will be on the November ballot following the submittal of a petition that had significantly more than the 433,971 needed for certification.
According to the Los Angeles Times, supporters turned in 694,248 signatures Wednesday just minutes before the 5 p.m. deadline. The measure, known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act, would allow for marijuana to be sold and taxed by cities and counties. Of course, the possession and sale of marijuana would remain a crime under federal law.
Both sides of the marijuana debate appear well-organized and spoiling for a fight. According to the Times, Richard Lee, described as an Oakland marijuana entrepreneur, is dipping into $1.3 million in funds from his business and hopes to raise a $20-million war chest for the campaign. He said he will employ a team of experienced political consultants including Chris Lehane, a noted political consultant.
A Sacramento lobbyist for the California Police Chief’s Assn. said the opposition will include a broad coalition and “we’ll educate people as to what this measure really means.”
According to the ordinance, adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to an ounce of green for personal use and to grow 25 square feet of marijuana per residence or parcel. Possessing less than an ounce of marijuana has been a misdemeanor in the state since 1975.