From the bowels of Orange County comes a wacky proposal to “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine” in California.

The would-be ballot measure from retired Orange County Superior Court Judge Jim Gray would legalize pot, medical or not, for the 21-and-older crowd, tax it like beer and wine, and allow anyone to grow up to 12 pounds per year tax-free, unless it's sold for profit.

But what's really radical about the idea:

Gray's “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012” contains language that would prohibit local cities like L.A. from enacting laws that would outlaw or limit the number of marijuana businesses in their communities.

And it would tell police in the state not only to defy federal law enforcement in actions against pot purveyors, but it would require that state and local officials defend anyone in California charged with violating federal marijuana law.

At least that's our reading of it.

Serious legalization backers might not be happy about this. They desperately want to take the kookiness out of the movement and present a unified front for full legalization to Golden State voters in coming years. And they like do have the cash to make another run for it.

Gray has a long way to go, anyway. Any ballot initiative with a shot at making the ballot pretty much has to rely on high-dollar signature gatherers. It appears he can't or won't put forward that kind of cash.

And so, according to the Orange County Register, Gray is planning a Sept. 1 fundraiser … in the Republican stronghold of Newport Beach.

Good luck with that.


LA Weekly