Proponents looking to legalize marijuana in California can now begin the arduous process of gathering some 505,000 signatures by December 19th in order to place a ballot initiative on next year’s slate. The ballot measure would legalize and regulate marijuana like beer and wine-making.
The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012 would legalize cannabis for recreational use, leaving those who grow for their own use untaxed, but taxation would be levied against those who sell marijuana.
The measure is backed by former CA gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby – who was one of the people behind CA Prop 215 – and former Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray.
The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act would also direct the state and federal governments to avoid assisting the federal government in prosecuting marijuana crimes.
After last year’s defeat of Prop 19, advocates believe next year’s Presidential election will bring out more voters under the age of 30, putting legalization over the top at the ballot box.
It certainly remains to be seen how things shake out in CA. The first test will be the signature gathering that will take place the rest of this summer and fall. The ease with which signatures come in – or difficulty – will be a good gauge of the CA electorate and their current attitude toward legalization.