The worst-case scenario for the legalization of recreational marijuana in California almost came to pass.

The game’s not over yet, but it looks like disaster was averted. Several initiatives are aiming for the all-important 2016 ballot in November, which will also decide the nation’s next president.

The aim among pro-pot activists was to back one strong initiative, but early on the community fractured behind competing measures.

Even if most of the measures don’t make the ballot, even two competing initiatives could dilute the vote enough to kill any hope of legalization.

That’s why it was good news to hear last week that a majority of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform’s board agreed to pull out of its own so-called ReformCA initiative and back that of Facebook mogul Sean Parker and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

If this support holds, it would appear to leave just one major initiative aiming for 2016.

The Sacramento Bee reports that “Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University in Oakland and proponent of 2010’s unsuccessful Proposition 19 legalization effort; Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; Stacia Cosner, deputy director for Students for Sensible Drug Policy; Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association; and David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a top-selling brand of natural soaps,” have all put their support behind the Parker-Newsom measure.

That one’s called the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

“We have carefully reviewed amendments submitted by the proponents of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, and we’re convinced it’s time to endorse that initiative and unite everyone behind a single, consensus measure to achieve a legal, regulated system, which a majority of voters have consistently said they want,” Bronner said in a statement.

The proposal would tax and regulate marijuana for those older than 21, essentially treating it the way the state treats alcohol.

About The Author


Raul Duke has been working as a journalist in Southern California for two decades. The medical marijuana juggernaut is one of his many beats. He’s a longtime Westside resident who needs to renew his doctor’s recommendation soon. If you have news tips, reach out:

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