Recreational Pot Legalization Is Headed for a Vote
Ernie Manrique/L.A. Weekly
It looks like you'll have the opportunity to vote on recreational marijuana legalization in November.
A campaign to fully legalize cannabis says it turned in way more than the required number of voter signatures required to get nonmedical pot on the California ballot.
Backers of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) say they've turned in 600,000 signatures when only 365,880 were needed.
AUMA said in a statement on Wednesday, "The broad-based coalition in support of the ballot measure known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) will come together to celebrate the completion of signature gathering and launch of the official campaign."
The initiative seeks to allow Californians 21 and older to possess as much as an ounce of weed. Sellers would be regulated by the state, largely based on a recently legislated framework for medical marijuana, and sales would be taxed in order to pay for policing.
Organizers raised more than $3.2 million, nearly a third from Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker, during their signature-gathering phase.
One proponent told us the goal was to raise at least $12 million, which would cover signature gathering and campaigning, set to kick off today.
Backers include national NORML, the California NAACP, Drug Policy Action (the political arm of Drug Policy Alliance) and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Opponents include the group Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana, which argued this week that legalization efforts such as AUMA's promise revenue to taxpayers that doesn't materialize.
Still, the latest poll on the matter found that nearly 60 percent of likely California voters would back recreational legalization.
The state, which has 30 days to do so, is likely to quickly verify AUMA's signatures through random computer sampling.
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