ReformCA to file 2016 marijuana legalization initiative language

By Oscar Pascual |

California will move one step closer to legalizing marijuana this week as backers of what’s seen as the most legitimate initiative plan to file their ballot language for approval.

Dale Gieringer, coordinator of the California NORML chapter, confirmed to LA Weekly that circulation language for the ReformCA initiative to tax and regulate cannabis sales like alcohol will be filed within a matter of days.

The language for circulation will be used as the public wording advocates will use to convince voters to sign petitions. The initiative would then be approved for next year’s election once enough signatures are gathered.

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform — the group backing ReformCA — were waiting for state lawmakers to decide on a deal to finally bring regulations to California’s medical marijuana production and sales, which they did earlier in September.

The wait was made so that the coalition could shape the bill’s language so that the new regulation bills would also apply to recreational sellers, Gieringer told LA Weekly.

“This has taken longer than we wanted,” he added.

The wait may have served as a benefit, however, as they can now take Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blue Ribbon report into consideration. Newsom, along with the ACLU, released the elaborate list of guidelines in July that the panel believes is needed to successfully legalize marijuana.

“Multiple stages of taxation have the added benefit of acting as checkpoints to prevent illicit cannabis from entering the legal supply chain or to prevent legal cannabis from being diverted to the illicit market,” the report says.

The coalition’s initiative won’t be the only legalization measure in November, however, as backers of the Marijuana Control, Legalization & Revenue Act have already filed circulation language that was approved.

Despite the competition, advocates believe ReformCA has a stronger chance of passing due to notable supporters such as California congressman Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach).

“All across the country, but especially here in California, Americans are saying loud and clear that trying to control what people personally consume is an utter waste of limited law enforcement resources,” Rohrabacher says on the ReformCA website. “We the people, can control our own lives, thank you.”

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