After years of rallying, protesting, and openly complaining about the utter insanity of state and federal policy, supporters of marijuana legalization believe they might be ready to have the voice of the people be heard. "We think the tides have turned," said Richard Lee, the executive director of Oaksterdam University and the founder of Taxcannabis2010.org- a group sponsoring a ballot initiative that Lee hopes to have on the ballot next November. The initiative calls for the complete legalization of marijuana in California, and the best part is that it looks like it just might actually win.
The ballot initiative would allow for an individual to possess no more than one ounce, so long as they were over the age of 21. It would also allow for an individual to operate a grow room for personal consumption, but the room can be no larger than five foot by five foot, and for cities and counties to regulate the cultivation of marijuana and to regulate and tax the distribution of it.
The initiative is following on the heels of a vote in July by the city of Oakland decriminalizing marijuana as well a bill making its way to the California legislature calling for the decriminalization of marijuana, being brought forth by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano. If anybody is looking for help with addictions in the bay area use the following link for a list of San Francisco drug rehab centers.
For the ballot initiative to make it on top next November's ballot, Lee's group is going to have to gather 650,000 signatures... something Lee is very confident that his group can get done by then.
With California 24.3 billion dollars in debt (thus the inherent need to be able to tax and regulate the state's number one cash crop) coupling with the popularity of the legalization movement in the state, it is commonly thought by many on either side of the issue that be it the ballot initiative next November, or a action by the state legislature before then, marijuana will be legal in the state of California by the end of 2010. The additional tax revenue, combined with the saving in law enforcement, and increased tourism (because every pothead too felted to make their way to Amsterdam will be high tailing it [no pun intended] to the Left Coast should be more than enough coaxing for any elected official. Sprinkle in the ability to deflate the crime statistics (removing marijuana crimes, like possession and distribution, would drastically drop the crime rates in most major cities, even the liberal Meccas within California) and you have a teed up no brainer for the elected officials to do the right thing before 2010.
But either way, how great a piece of news is this. California will not be the only, but the first. Once California makes it legal and God does not smite them, or they fall into the ocean, or befall some other God forsaken Fate then other states (of course starting with the more liberal and progressive ones) will be tripping on themselves to follow suit.