Marijuana Regulation/Taxation Initiative Hands in Signatures

Well, the question of marijuana will likely be coming to a ballot near you:

Supporters of legalized marijuana announced today that they have gathered about 700,000 signatures for their initiative, virtually guaranteeing voters will see it on the November ballot. They plan to turn in the petitions today to elections officials in some of the state’s major counties, including Los Angeles. Supporters need 433,971 valid signatures to qualify the measure.

The measure’s main proponent, Richard Lee, a highly successful Oakland marijuana entrepreneur, bankrolled a professional signature-gathering effort that was bolstered by volunteers from the state’s hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries.

The initiative, known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act, would make it legal for anyone 21 and older to possess an ounce of marijuana and grow plants in an area no larger than 25 square feet for personal use. It would also allow cities and counties to permit marijuana to be grown and sold, and to impose taxes on marijuana production and sales. (LA Times)

The most recent polling shows the measure passing at about 56%. That’s a nailbiter for a number if you have a vigorous No campaign. However, at this point, I wonder who ponies up with any serious money to oppose the measure. Sure, you are likely to get a bunch of opposing endorsements from candidates and elected officials. But money? That’s an entirely different question. From a brainstorming perspective, maybe some law enforcement organizations would throw a bit of money against it, but I just don’t see enough money being raised to bring the numbers down.

On the flip side, I imagine that Lee and other drug policy advocates will do what they can to support this measure. It looks like we will be doing some pretty interesting voting this year, huh?

8 thoughts on “Marijuana Regulation/Taxation Initiative Hands in Signatures”

  1. I would expect significant money from the alcohol and tobacco companies. Particularly alcohol.

    And you can count on opposition from groups who want to “get government out of our lives” just because it creates the kind of cognitive dissonance they thrive on.

  2. The Corrections Corporation of America and the prison guards union (CCPOA) might donate to defeat it.

  3. … from a lot of public employee groups- teachers, cops, prison guards… and you’re unlikely to get much support from any groups other than NORML or other microtargeted, pro-pot groups. Plus, I doubt you’ll get any where need the same convictions with endorsements vs. denouncements.

    If there were a betting pool for progressive change on any level. The smart money is always on “no.” Because the status quo is so much easier.  

  4. that that 56% figure holds once slippery slope ads depicting junkies on the streets are disseminated by the opposition.

    I fear that attempting to legalize at the ballot could prove to be a setback on an issue that is getting a surprising amount of traction in a state that could use the revenue. However, I’m interested in what people think of the possibility of numerous states trying to legalize through the ballot. Could marijuana legalization initiatives be used for progressives in the way that same-sex marriage bans were used for conservatives? In other words, could marijuana on the ballot turn out demographics (read: youth) that don’t normally turn out?

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