Major Marijuana Coalition Takes First Step in Legalization Drive
Timothy Norris/L.A. Weekly
UPDATE at 12:10 p.m., Monday, Oct. 5: The language has been filed. See more below.
The big-daddy coalition of groups hoping to get initiatives on the 2016 that would ask voters to legalize *marijuana in California said over the weekend that it had taken its big first step in getting its proposal on the ballot.
The Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform announced to supporters over the weekend that it had "filed" its ReformCA circulation language. Circulation language is used to entice voters to sign petitions necessary to get a proposed law on the ballot. Language needs to be approved by the California attorney general.
"We've filed our initiative!," ReformCA stated. "We believe this effort has the most statewide input and consensus, and thus the greatest likelihood of succeeding on the 2016 ballot."
A search of the attorney general's initiative database showed no signs of the ReformCA filing. A co-proponent of the initiative, California NAACP president Alice A. Huffman, had filed previous language, however.
ReformCA distributed its language in an email. You can find it here:
The initiative seeks to tax and regulate cannabis for those 21 and older, who would be able to possess one ounce without fear of arrest.
It would also create an Office of Cannabis Regulation under the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Retailers, growers, distributors and transporters would have to obtain state licenses.
There would be a five percent tax on retail sales, a $2 per square foot grower tax, and a $5 to $15 per ounce tax on "producers."
The proposal could end up being one of more than a half dozen. It appears that former backers such as the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project have pulled their support, at least for now. Billionaire tech titan Sean Parker is working on his own initiative. And DPA has its own language waiting in the wings too. A handful of grassroots efforts are also aiming for the ballot.
Dale Sky Jones of ReformCA said this in a note to supporters over the weekend:
We've filed our proposed initiative language based on the policy priorities and common sense reforms Californians have been asking for for six years now. The policy points were submitted to the Manatt, Phelps and Phillips law firm, who created an elegant policy document that falls within the guidelines of the Blue Ribbon Commission's report, while complementing the historic actions of the California Legislature. Because of the important reforms we accomplish with respect to criminal justice, I'm thrilled to report Ms. Alice Huffman has joined me as a co-proponent!
The coalition says it's seeking feedback from supporters until Wednesday.
UPDATE at 12:10 p.m., Monday, Oct. 5: The circulation language was filed and received by the attorney general's office today.
*Corrected at 11:21 a.m., Monday, Oct. 5 to eliminate the word "medical."
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