A pro-marijuana group funded in part by Oakland coffee shop entrepreneur Richard Lee says it has more than enough signatures to put a full-legalization initiative on the November, 2010 ballot.
Associated Press reports that Lee's group says it has way more than the 434,000 signatures it needs to put the issue before state voters and that it will submit its John Hancocks to the Secretary of State next month for validation.
The law would go beyond 1996's Prop. 215, which legalized the collective, nonprofit cultivation of marijuana for those "seriously ill" people with doctor's notes. Medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles have mushroomed to 545, prompting the city of L.A. to propose a law that would limit the number of so-called pot shops to about 137 and to place requirements on them that would limit business to nonprofit sales and on-site cultivation.
The initiative might make all that a nonstarter unless the city wants to go ahead with deeper regulations than that state might require (there are cities in the state, for example, that have no dispensaries). No longer would we be debating the pros and cons of medical marijuana. This proposal takes the medical out of the equation.
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The Lee-backed law would legalize the possession of one ounce of pot for people aged 21 and older. Residents could also grow the plants in areas limited to 25 square feet.