Proponents of the Responsible Use Act of 2016, an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis in California, have been given the go-ahead by Secretary of State Alex Padilla to begin collecting signatures in an attempt to place the measure on next year’s November ballot.
Advocates now have 180 days to collect 365,880 signatures from registered California voters. If they’re successful in doing so, the initiative would be put to a vote during the 2016 presidential election. If passed by voters, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis would be legalized for those 21 and older, with cannabis retail outlets authorized to distribute the plant.
The proposal would establish an $8 per ounce tax, while allowing cities and counties to impose a jurisdictional sales tax. The initiative would also setup procedures for the reconsideration of prisoners serving sentences for cannabis-related charges.
According to polling released in March, 55% of California voters support legalizing cannabis.