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Will California Legalize Cannabis in 2014? Probably Not

Ground view image of the capitol in California

Joint Opinions

Will California Legalize Cannabis in 2014? Probably Not

It looks as if the bigger groups behind cannabis law reform are marshaling their forces for 2016.

Although the California Cannabis and Hemp Initiative still has until the end of February to gather enough signatures to get onto the ballot, and the California Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act from the group Americans For Policy Reform still has a few more months to qualify, their chances of making it to the ballot are slim.

Legendary cannabis activist Ed Rosenthal had been one of the activists behind an initiative filed to counter the Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana act, sponsored by Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). Rosenthal’s initiative had been drafted in conjunction with notable players in the medical cannabis community, including California NORML President Dale Gieringer, as a response to specific contentions with regulations outlined in the DPA initiative.

This week, however, Rosenthal released a statement stating his group would not be seeking signatures for their initiative:

“Ed Rosenthal, proponent of the Cannabis Policy Reform Act of2014, has decided not to seek signatures for the ballot in 2014. Instead, he will join other organizations, including the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform and the Drug Policy Alliance, to work toward a cohesive, winnable initiative for 2016.”

This statement is a move towards major groups in the California movement and industry looking to work together to ensure victory in 2016, with California NORML, The Drug Policy Alliance, and others joining in fundraising and campaigning.

Also, presidential election years tend to bring in more and younger voters. The 18 to 25-year-old demographic is overwhelmingly in favor of cannabis legalization.

Amanda Reiman, California Director at The Drug Policy Alliance had this to say:

“We are looking forward to working with those committed to ending marijuana prohibition in California. We know that it will take a broad base of support to achieve success, and we feel we have a great start for 2016.”

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