The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the U.S.’s largest marijuana policy organization, announced today in a press release that it will support efforts to legalize cannabis in 10 more states by 2017, including California. MPP’s announcement comes one day before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing to discuss state and federal marijuana laws.
MPP plans to work with a coalition of local advocates and leaders in California to pass an initiative that would tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. A Field Poll survey in February found that 54% of those in California support the legalization of cannabis.
“The Golden State has long been a leader when it comes to compassionate and fiscally sound marijuana policies,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The majority of Californians support making marijuana legal for adults, and they are going to make it a reality soon.”
The Justice Department announced on August 29th that it will not seek to prevent Colorado and Washington from moving forward with implementation of voter-approved laws establishing state-regulated systems of marijuana cultivation and retail sales. Federal prosecutors were also advised not to target businesses and individuals complying with state laws regulating and taxing marijuana.
“Marijuana prohibition has been just as problematic and counterproductive as alcohol prohibition,” said MPP executive director Rob Kampia. “We look forward to working with elected officials, community leaders, organizations, and other local and national allies to develop more effective and efficient marijuana policies.”
According to the group’s press release, MPP will “work with local and national allies to pass voter initiatives in at least five states and bills in at least five state legislatures to end marijuana prohibition and replace it with systems in which marijuana is regulated and taxed like alcohol.” In addition, the group is “currently supporting a petition drive led by Alaska activists to place an initiative on the August 2014 ballot, and it will work to pass initiatives in Arizona, California, Maine, and Nevada in the 2016 election. The organization is participating in lobbying and grassroots organizing efforts to pass bills in the Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont state legislatures by 2017.”
For more information, visit MPP’s website.