Legal marijuana isn't hard to get in L.A. Just go to a doctor who advertises in certain weekly publications (ahem), tell her you have back pain, get a piece of paper, show it to the dispensary nearby, and buy some bud.
But pro-marijuana activists in California have been envious of the full, recreational legalization seen in states like Colorado and Washington.
While there are more pot shops in L.A. than in those two states combined, Washington and Colorado have been getting all the attention this year. And California pioneered the legalization of medical weed way back in 1996. Enter the Marijuana Policy Project:
The Washington, D.C.-based organization is the first to dip its toes in the legalization waters for the November, 2016 election.
It has registered a California campaign committee so it can start accepting donations for an effort to put legalization on the Golden State ballot, which will also include candidates for U.S. president.
Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, says:
Marijuana prohibition has had an enormously detrimental impact on California communities. It's been ineffective, wasteful, and counterproductive. It's time for a more responsible approach.
The Project will likely see a competing effort to get legalization on the ballot by the financially potent Drug Policy Alliance, which dropped a 2014 California initiative, apparently in favor of taking advantage of greater turnout during the 2016 election cycle.
The Drug Policy Alliance's proposed initiative was one of four this year that were either withdrawn or failed to gather enough signatures to make it to the ballot this year.
The other efforts just didn't have the millions of dollars needed to gather signatures.
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Hopes are high, however, for 2016, with momentum from Colorado and Washington serving as the wind beneath the wings of legalization proponents.
The Marijuana Policy Project put it this way:
The Marijuana Policy Project is thrilled to announce we launched a campaign committee — the Marijuana Policy Project of California — in order to help pass a ballot initiative in 2016 that would legalize and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and over in California. Support for this sensible change continues to swell, both nationwide and in California; and, with your help, California’s destructive prohibition of marijuana will be history come November 2016.