There’s been a lot of talk regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana in California, but no initiatives have been filed. Well, that changes this week as the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform announced that it has already filed its ReformCA ballot initiative over the weekend.
“We’ve filed our initiative,” ReformCA said in a statement. “We believe this effort has the most statewide input and consensus, and thus the greatest likelihood of succeeding on the 2016 ballot.”
The language still needs to be approved by state Attorney General Kamala Harris before it goes into circulation for petition signing. If there are enough verified endorsements, the initiative will therefore be included on the 2016 presidential ballot in California.
According to the initiative, people aged 21 and above should be able to possess up to an ounce of marijuana without fear of arrest, provided it is properly taxed and regulated. Taxes include a five percent tax on retail sales, $2 per square foot grower tax, and $5 to $15 per ounce tax for producers.
It also seeks out to create an Office of Cannabis Regulation under the California Department of Consumer Affairs, wherein retailers, distributers, transporters, and growers can obtain their state licenses.
But ReformCA is not the only ballot initiative circulating in California, despite the fact that it seeks to unify the legalization movement by eliminating competing initiatives that have the potential to dilute the pro-legalization vote. In fact, it might end up to be one of more than a half dozen, with the Drug Policy Alliance and billionaire tech titan Sean Parker also drafting their own initiatives.
Still, Dale Gieringer of California NORML, one of the members of the coalition, thinks that there are not many prospects for competition. Internal polling showed the viability of the ReformCA initiative.
“It shows that it’s definitely winnable, but it’s not a slam dunk,” he said. “Californians have certain things they want and don’t want, and it’s important to address those. A badly written initiative could lose.”
Are you in favor of ReformCA’s initiative, or would you rather sign up for other similar petitions? Voice your opinions in the comments section below – your opinion matters to the nation.