California’s Secretary of State’s office announced today that the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative has passed through its initial hurdle, and proponents may now begin collecting the 504,760 valid signatures required to put the proposal to a vote of the people in 2014; the group will have 150 days. This announcement comes just a day after the Public Policy Institute of California announced that 60% of likely voters in the state support the legalization of cannabis.
This initiative – which has been given the initiative number of 1604 – would legalize the possession (and transfer) of up to 12 pounds of cannabis, as well as the private cultivation of up to 99 plants (the limit was set for purposes of separating personal from industrial cultivation), for those 21 and older. The proposal would task the state’s legislature with determining taxes and regulations for cannabis retail outlets.
Proponents of the measure aren’t currently backed by a large amount of funding, so they plan to rely heavily – at least at first – on volunteers; “What we need right now is volunteers who are ready and willing to organize statewide and to go out and collect the signatures we’ll need to qualify this ballot proposition”, Coordinator Buddy Duzy wrote in a guest article we published earlier this year, “We need activists, environmentalists, health advocates, third world advocates, and racial equality advocates. We need entrepreneurs and innovators willing to step forward and seize this opportunity. We need police officers and judges who are tired of wasting their time enforcing a policy that they know is a farce.”
Those wanting to get involved or learn more about this initiative should visit the website for the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (also called the Jack Herer Initiative) by clicking here.