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As Expected, Big Marijuana Legalization News Out Of California Today


california marijuana election 2016 initiative legalizationYesterday I posted an article about a big marijuana legalization initiative filing that was expected to occur today. That filing did indeed occur, and you may have heard about it. Most media outlets are referring to it as the ‘Sean Parker marijuana legalization initiative,’ named after the initiative’s most high profile backer. The initiative has the support of a lot of other people, one of which is California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. His endorsement came very quick, which isn’t surprising considering the initiative is written in a way that mimics the findings from a report that Gavin Newsom and his team put out recently about marijuana reform.

This is extremely big news for not only California, but for the rest of the country as well. I heard an estimate once that half of the entire marijuana industry in America is located in California. It’s the biggest domino of them all, and if it falls, it could open the floodgates for recreational marijuana legalization across the country. I’m very curious to see too what role Sean Parker plays with the campaign, and if it results in any changes to the marijuana policies of the companies he works with.

Below is Gavin Newsom’s press release talking about the initiative:

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, released the following statement in support of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, a ballot measure filed today by official proponents Dr. Donald O. Lyman, MD, and Michael Sutton:

“I am pleased that this thoughtful measure is aligned with the Blue Ribbon Commission’s recommendations, and presents California its best opportunity to improve the status quo by making marijuana difficult for kids to access. It is backed by the broadest coalition of supporters to date and I believe that Californians will rally behind this consensus measure, which also serves to strengthen law enforcement, respect local preferences, protect public health and public safety, and restore the environment.”


In July 2015, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy chaired by Lt. Governor Newsom released an extensive report detailing the complexities of marijuana regulation in California.

The report includes fifty-eight recommendations for policy makers and the public to consider to promote public health and safety, protect youth, consumers, workers, the environment, and reduce the size of the illicit market. The report explores in great detail the complexity of moving a large, developed, and largely unregulated multi-billion-dollar industry out of the shadows and into a regulated mainstream to improve public health and safety, and protections for youth.

The Blue Ribbon Commission also highlights that legalization would not be an event that happens in one election but rather, it would be a process that unfolds over many years requiring sustained attention to implementation.

The goal of the Blue Ribbon Commission is to provide expert research and analysis to help the public and policymakers understand the range of policy issues and options to consider when drafting proposals to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana. Neither the Commission nor its report makes the case for or against legalization, nor does the Commission itself endorse ballot measures.

The Commission’s work has been recognized by the Editorial Boards of the Los Angeles TimesSan Francisco ChronicleSacramento Bee, Orange County Register, and the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, among others.

Below is the initiative’s press release announcing their filing:

Today, a broad coalition of community and business leaders, physicians, environmentalists and social-justice advocates filed with the California Attorney General’s office a comprehensive statewide ballot measure to control, regulate and tax the responsible adult use of marijuana.

The measure (known as “the Adult Use of Marijuana Act”) is based on the collaborative input of hundreds of state and local stakeholders and the recommendations of the Lieutenant Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy – and it builds on the landmark regulatory structure for medical marijuana recently passed by a bipartisan majority of the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown (SB 643, AB 266 and AB 243).

The official proponents of the measure are:

  • Dr. Donald O. Lyman, MD, award-winning physician, member of the California Medical Association and former Chief of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Control at the California Department of Public Health and
  • Michael Sutton, longtime conservationist and environmental attorney, former President of the California Fish and Game Commission and former Vice President of National Audubon Society

“The physician community and the people of California in general have increasingly voiced support for ending marijuana prohibition and bringing greater control, oversight and consumer protections to our marijuana policies,” said Dr. Lyman, who authored the California Medical Association’s historic 2011 Background Paper on Marijuana.  “This is the most comprehensive and carefully-crafted measure ever introduced to control, regulate and tax responsible adult-use of marijuana anywhere in America – and it will make California healthier, make our streets and communities safer and better protect our children.”

“A regulated and reliable framework of marijuana policy will bring illicit cultivation out of the shadows and allow us to protect and restore California’s precious land, water and wildlife,” said Sutton, who also founded the Marine Stewardship Council while at World Wildlife Fund.  “It’s good for the environment, good for our water supply and good for natural resources.”

The land and water protections in the measure received specific praise in joint and individual letters from The Nature Conservancy, Audubon California, California Council of Land Trusts, California Native Plant Society, California State Parks Foundation, California Trout, California Urban Stream Partnership, Defenders of Wildlife, Endangered Habitats League, Pacific Forest Trust, Trout Unlimited and Trust for Public Land.

“The environmental provisions of the Adult Use Act will represent a major step forward in protecting California’s rich natural resources in the future,” said the Nature Conservancy in an October 29, 2015 letter.

The full measure also received enthusiastic support from respected social-justice and industry organizations.

“This initiative provides a model for the country,” said Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance.  “It breaks new ground not just with its pragmatic regulatory provisions but also in directing tax revenue to prevention and treatment for young people, environmental protections and job creation in underserved communities.”

“California voters are ready to end marijuana prohibition in 2016 and replace it with a more sensible system,” said Rob Kampia, Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project.  “That is exactly what this initiative will do, and that is why MPP is proud to support it. We look forward to working with the proponents and doing whatever we can to help pass this measure and make history in California next year.”

“California has long been at the forefront of economic innovation and legal reform,” said Nate Bradley, Executive Director of the California Cannabis Industry Association. “We believe this effort has the support and resources to mount a successful campaign for responsible adult-use. This measure will allow California to take its rightful place as the center of investment and innovation in the cannabis economy. We are ready to become a regulated, tax-paying, job-creating industry that will benefit all Californians.”

What do TWB readers think of today’s news, especially California residents? Do you think that this is the initiative that everyone should rally behind? I personally think so. With the deep pockets, and support from the Drug Policy Alliance and the Lieutenant Governor backing this initiative, I think it has the best chance of winning on Election Day. I’m sure there will be others that disagree, and that’s fine, I just hope that people take into account everything that it will take to legalize recreational marijuana in California in 2016 (the biggest of which is a TON of money).

You can read a copy of the initiative filing at this link here.


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. Let me rephrase. If more than one initiative passes then the one with the most votes becomes law. I thought it was obvious that they had to garner at least 50 percent, but I shouldn’t have taken that for granted. That is why one can vote in favor of multiple initiatives without dividing the vote making it more likely that at least one becomes law.

  2. M. Simon >”I don’t get why so many in the anti-Prohibition community think that Alcohol Prohibition is a good model to follow.” Not to my knowledge. Most folks in the community believe that the Alcohol *Regulation* model is the one to follow – for the simple reason that it is the model that has passed in other states. Yeah, most of us wish it would have been different, but really, what is the point in giving time, energy and money to an alternative model that does not have major financial backing, endorsement of the major marijuana campaign groups and most importantly, language that is unlikely to pass with the general electorate, come the day. ?

  3. Catalina Copeland on

    Beware of the MPP initiative. It solidifies AB266 and SB643 under section ‘k’.

  4. I think Californians want real reform of cannabis laws, that’s why prop 19 failed, due to having continued draconian regulation ensconced in the constitution, they capitulated to the drug war Apparatchik, this alienated the true believers. Let”s get CCHI on the ballot, I’m not signing the others and will vote against them.

  5. Because it’s legal to distill 250 gal (man, only 200 for women) annually (they don’t go after home brewers). How many Hops plants do you think it takes for a successful home crop? Hundreds thats how many! Minimum! Hemp and pot crops also require at least 100 seedlings and 100 mature plants at any given moment for breeding.
    I support the CCHI ballot initiative!

  6. Alchohol
    Each man may distill 250 gal annually, each woman 200 gal without oversight. Tobacco plants may be grown in any number, only sales trigger any regulation. Back when the constitution mattered, that was the constitutional limits to federal tarrif/revenue, was costs imposed on industry to oversee trade among the states and with other countries. How can we have let such an Apparatachik in the form of Drug war and Hemp Prohibition oppression without protest to rule us this utterly, Patriot acts passed without public question of vast unwarranted authority, to save us from Hemp flowers? But at least now there is no dope in America so it’s all been worth it right?

  7. CCHI (Calif Cannabis Hemp Initiative) Looks to me the best of several competing (supposedly) legalize hemp initiatives now collecting signatures in Ca. for the Nov 16 ballot. Poor initiatives limit adults to 6 plants, CCHI treats hemp like Tobacco (adults gardens tobacco plants not limited to six, not limited at all! Only sales.) or alchohol (a man can brew 250 gallons annually, a woman 200gal. without oversight). Please help CCHI gain some traction with your support and lend your cred, by us enlisting our contacts via wide use of social media, we broadcast respected voices support thereby inciting popular support, the vote should go for the free hemp initiative. I imagine you might already be involved in the CCHI effort, then please count me in and release a statement to the press and your facebook friends and they who will share with all their friends, etcetera etcetera… Regards from Ricky Grubb Sunland.
    p.s. I don’t lend my support to very many issues,,, and not since prop 215 have I actively collected signatures and sought supporters, so please forgive me this brief intrusion, for it is a rare occurance indeed.

  8. Catalina Copeland on

    We wont either. The only ones that’ll vote for Parker are SOME existing shops, and those shops may try to influence their customers, supporters, and crowds into voting for it. Majority aren’t fooled though. CCHI 2016.A lot of shops will be disgusted by the inclusion of AB266 and SB643. Parker’s initiative does nothing for zoning either, it still allows dysfunction in municipalities with cannabis rights. Cities like Perris with their illegal evictions of dispensaries, problems like the Clearlake lawsuit (refusal to allow cultivation), Temecula ban on dispensaries, etc.

  9. Catalina Copeland on

    Vote no on all, sign CCHI2016.
    If CCHI2016 makes ballot, vote yes.
    That’s the strategy. Resist the bureaucratic bullshit.

  10. Catalina Copeland on

    Thoughts on Issue 3.
    I supported Issue 3 only because I believed it would broaden the subject of legalization, possible federalization, and even globalization of a once open commodity. This happened in California with Prop 19, and will happen with Sean Parker, and the scummy one TheWeedBlog just announced (here) that was crafted by slimeball bureaucrats who want to attach Fuck AB 266 and Fuck SB 643 The Prop 215 killers to it as well (wait was that Parker’s?). With the passage of issue 2 can marijuana ever be legal in Ohio via ballot again? In California, only one grassroots campaign would be what the people want, it is called CCHI 2016. State cannabis bureaucracies are a cancer across the nation, the real answer is to federalize it as a commodity like it was prior to 1937. We the people DO NOT WANT CANNABIS BUREAUCRACIES. Free the plant for all, not the scumbags at the state government, the county, the municipality, etc. Open the trade of cannabis as a real commodity like tea, wine, or coffee. Hit the UN policymakers, your congress (repeal 21 U.S.C. 811(d)) and make cannabis the once open commidity it was prior to 1937. If it isn’t CCH2016 – don’t sign. Spread the word‪ #‎fuckthebureaucracy‬

  11. Catalina Copeland on

    As Ben Franklin use to say – “Join or die”.

    California doesn’t want a bureaucracy. State cannabis bureaucracies are a cancer across the nation. Bernie Sanders (if elected) has cleanup work to do at the CSA, with the UN, and hopefully he can get rid of 21 U.S.C. 811(d) by fixing congress (I’m doing my part as well – and so should you).

  12. Prop 19 did not pass because it was too restrictive. 1 ounce of cannabis, really? R cops going to carry scales now? You can buy as much alcohol and tobacco as you like, but not cannabis? So a store would be prevented from selling you more than an ounce?
    And… How many pages? Gonna take a good chunk of that cash just to print the initiative….
    Sorry, its either treating cannabis like tomatoes or nothing. I’m sure the 99% of cannabis users are not going to vote for giving money to the police.
    Quote the 60s if you want. That generations’ overall failure in following through with change after Vietnam ended is a major reason this country has slid backwards and to the right, IMHO

  13. Michael Jolson on

    the one with the most votes is applicalbe by law- Look at Ohio- people won’t be folled by corporate pot takeover!

  14. jasen joseph hylbert on

    Cannabis is an easy to grow plant which requires far less inputs than many other plants and can even be grown inside next to a window for free!

    Prohibition/ regulation of herbal cannabis are major obstacles to the acceptance and equal treatment of the herbal cannabis culture. The only way to really effectively take away profits from some violent anti american groups who sell cannabis is to encourage home grows without limits.
    The huge savings in tax dollars spent in enforcing prohibition/ regulation of cannabis are savings everyone can enioy, rather than funds which would be price gouged out of consumers for the benefit of few.
    Any restrictions whatsoever on the cannabis plant are corrupt, inneficient, and immoral. The corrupt few who advocate for regulation/ prohibition of cannabis are basically begging for an unfair and inefficient system of welfare that they and only they benefit from.
    Artificial scarcity is an enemy of humankind and the earth. Arrificial scarcity has literally caused wars. Due to limitations enforced on self provision of cannabis, large amounts of transportation fuels are wantonly consumed in transporting an easy to grow plant to a place that it could have just been grown at in the first place.

    Industrial hemp growth would illeminate the huge amounts of chemicals put on cotton fields and require less irrigation than wheat. It can fill in for disease damged crops and produces paper on far less acres than trees. To prohibit/ regulate cannbis out of existance is truely a crime against all of the earth and all of humanity. In prohibiting/ regulating cannabis out of use, the earth is made seemingly effectively smaller.

  15. Whyiowa4medical on

    I have come to a simple decision. Once upon a time, I believed that medicine and research would surely legalize cannabis, then a cannabis nurse taught me an important lesson. Medicine means so little to your average politician and proof from research impresses them about as much as watching the grass grow. The lesson: this a legal game concerning a 1936 corporate law and policy change which ended up being the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (some of it taking effect in 1972). Unless we unify, as a force to be reckoned with, federal Legislators have such a miniscule opinion of altering the law as we have the presence of a fractured bunch of radicals, better ignored. If we put ourselves together strong, united, and of a force (like Shell oil or Monsanto) that are too powerful to ignore any longer. If some imperfect law is passed just remember the ’60s and ’70s when this would be a miracle, its a step toward pulling us together, separate but equal, as what could be a stronger front. As long as the operation is run by cannabis believer’s, lets all cheer; remember; we promised taxing cannabis rather than fighting about the issue; and I remember the quotes by our founding father’s and mother’s, unless there is something in a law that says cannabis is only legal under certain circumstances, let’s have it!!! Medicine and Research is behind you, let’s not be 10 different camps with arguments and issues. Pull together the CBD believers, pull in the tincture folk, add the whole plant hero’s, bring in the taxation/price rightly worried, and champion the cause of the edible/juicing/and shatter crowd. All we have to fear is that the current Republican kill, burn, raid, and denial crowd steers clear of their hatred of nature’s best medicine (a highly unlikely happening). A whole lot of unity would do just what this world needs, but while we bicker and fight over the small stuff (I don’t want to bend over for a price rape either) they laugh at us fighting over the same basic issue. They win, they want us fighting each other so they can forever say, “See, they don’t even have a plan!” Though we have told them again and again they claim confusion. So if it eases the fight, but hurts in some way, just make, “It is better than Kansas, it is better than Kansas, etc…” your mantra. When everyone is equal, then we can bitch at the Industry, but let’s have an industry to bitch at because as Tommy Chong always reminds people, “It is almost legal.” He is right, even in the most legal of legal STATES. Don’t accuse Johnny of being faux news because I know of so few un-sung hero’s that has given his life to legalization as this great and freedom loving guy!!!

  16. jasen joseph hylbert on

    We have to do away with the artificial scarcity which has been a major hindrance to acceptance of herbal cannabis culture. The savings of tax dollar expenditures by not prohibiting/ regulating cannabis are plenty of reason to facilitate as large of home grows as people want to grow. The only way to really effectively take away profits from some violent anti – American groups who sell cannabis is to encourage as large of home grows as is possible.
    Any restrictions whatsoever on the cannabis plant are corrupt and inefficient. The corrupt folks who advocate regulation/ prohibition are basically on a biased, corrupt, and inefficient system of welfare.

  17. Certainly, Zaccheus, and how many of our Inits have failed because of the lack of financial support`? makes me want to weep when I consider…

    When I think of Monsanto and all the lobbying of Congress that goes on, I think it is perfectly valid – and right – that we make an informed choice and stand – based on facts, medical evidence and civil rights – to bring about the end of cannabis prohibition on a global level. Legalise Cannabis International.

    We have suffered enough. One conviction for marijuana possession is one conviction too many.

    Legalise Cannabis International



  18. >>More like sniffing up the butt of Corporate Pot.

    >You say it’s Corporate pot – but how?

    You never did answer my perfectly valid question, Michael. If you seriously believe this about Corporate Pot, then please explain your stance and reasoning. I am more than open and willing to debate this point that you have made. It’s just that we need references to continue the debate – if this is a debate.

    Sound-bites are never good enough to convince, Michael. Millions of people are being criminalized for this plant – all around the world.

    In this context, at least, my question deserves a response…

  19. >My issue is fair and balanced coverage. The Weed Blog has turned more right wing then Fox News, or more biased than them.
    They have swung to the right side of their journalistic style.

    The Weed Blog more biassed than Fox? Give us a break here, Michael, please…

    Johnny Green is a very well respected person of honest appraisal and integrity within the legalization community, Michael, and as much as you are entitled to your opinion, I would say that it is based purely upon bias and the fact that you are hurting at the prospects of yet another failure of the Jack Herer Initiative and that this is clouding your judgment of the reportage of the Weed Blog.

    Please, Michael, think about this issue.

  20. Zaccheus Abraham on

    Your content and tone are not exactly “fair” and “balanced.” Since that is what you ask of others, should we not expect it from you?

  21. Zaccheus Abraham on

    It must also be noted that, likely due to the association of the name of Sean Parker, the initiative has already generated more than 1,000 news stories. That’s buzzing!

  22. Zaccheus Abraham on

    You’re being hypersensitive. Do you think anyone is out to tax a home brewer of beer? Or that the police have any interest in enforcing that? They will not have any interest in doing so.

  23. Well said, Zaccheus. Back in the 60’s, we used to smoke weed and get high and talk about legalization – yet who would have thought that it would be at least another 40+ years before we would see our hopes come to fruition? If anyone would have said to me back in 1969 (the year I got busted) that we would have to wait another 45+ years, I would have laughed them out of the room.

    Ah yes. Many of us have paid dearly for our cannabis criminal convictions – in many ways. Mine was minimal, compared to many, but still of import in my own personal experience. And all of our stories are important. And all of our campaigning is important – even if we do not get feedback or whatever – we carry on, we campaign – AND WE WILL WIN!!!

  24. >We means thousands of growers and medical patients that back me up 100% on this.

    You mean that y’all have READ and DEBATED and DECIDED on 62 pages of Init??? Gosh, it would take longer than that just to read and digest it, never mind thousands of people in one group to oppose it.

    Absolutely impossible that you could have garnered the amount of intellectual and cohesive support that you claim, in view of the fact that the text of the Init was only released yesterday (and the fact that even Californians like to have at least an 8 hour sleep in between a myriad of thousands? of your claimed phone, mail, whatever, discussions.)

    Time to start thinking outside of your personal agenda, Michael in that you believe that CCHI is the ONLY Init that can make it in California. Ideals are one thing, but reality quite often is something else altogether. Don’t waste your time and energy on the un-doable, Michael.

    Time to start thinking outside of the box. Time to start thinking about the financial and major legalization groups’ support and the potential voting support of the electorate of California.

    Because without all of the above – THERE IS NO CHANCE – OR THE MONEY to pull off CCHI.

    Be graceful for once, Michael…. acquiesce. Throw your hand in with this Init. Come the night of results… don’t be on the losing side of the argument that the electorate solidifies for general legalization in California.

  25. Zaccheus Abraham on

    Wrong. An initiative requires 50% of the votes cast in order to pass. Dividing the vote between numerous initiatives will likely result in none of them passing.

  26. Zaccheus Abraham on

    Unquestionably, this initiative, because of the support of Newsom, the DPA, the MPP, and the monied interests, has the best chance of passing. ANYTHING ELSE YOU MIGHT DREAM ABOUT PASSING IS JUST THAT – a dream. As to taxes, the price of pot will eventually go so low that it will be many times cheaper.

  27. Michael Jolson on

    We means thousands of growers and medical patients that back me up 100% on this. California doesn’t want another CO model but an end to the prohibition of Cannabis Hemp! The issue as stake is this proposed legislation sucks and will beoppswd vigorously.
    The Pot Police will be cutting down all gardens with more than 6 plants. People will get busted for more then one ounce.
    It over tax pot and is based upon a Reefer Madness model.
    My issue is fair and balanced coverage. The Weed Blog has turned more right wing then Fox News, or more biased than them.
    They have swung to the right side of their journalistic style.

  28. And WHO is the WE, Michael? You only speak for yourself – and no one else. You say it’s Corporate pot – but how? This is not Ohio with it’s monopolies provision. Come to think of it, I actually wouldn’t have expected anything better coming from you, Michael. We’re not stuck in the 1980’s anymore with a 10 buck tax that was not incorporated to allow for inflation and economic increase over the following decades of prohibition – or didn’t you notice already? Just because you have sour grapes over the lack of financial support of CCHI doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t find the grace to support this Init for the benefit of California, Consider, Michael, get a grip, and pull out all the stops for support on this one.

  29. Michael Jolson on

    Let’s see you walk your talk up there in Oregon. We sent you a press release about our campaign now cover it. Quit being such a patsy for the corporate takeover of pot?
    Are you hopin to get corporate sponsorship for The Weed Blog by sucking up to Big Corporate Pot?
    Try reporting on other then corporste funded campaigns just for ONE time, at least ONCE!
    Come on Johnny Green !

  30. Michael Jolson on

    More like sniffing up the butt of Corporate Pot. This Init sucks and we will worlk vigorously to defeat it!

  31. YEP, it will need a ton of money to get this through, as you so rightly say, Johnny. Glad it’s getting a lot of support from Gavin Newsom, DPA, MPP and CCIA. Gotta remember this one as the Lyman & Sutton Initiative (there’s so many of them it can be hard on keeping track!) Great article, Johnny and thanks for posting!

  32. Who’s supposed to fund it, the taxpayers?
    Sure, why not, we can presumably pay for everything these days.

  33. Matt McLaughlin on

    f- you. YOU pay taxes! Getting busted with a year’s supply of weed (1 OZ) isnt even a crime. And you want to change the law? Tax me more? Really,> go get stuffed.

  34. The good thing in CA is that the initiative with the most votes becomes law. That means you don’t really have to vote against any of them, so dividing the legalization vote isn’t a concern.

  35. What do all these corporate “legalization” efforts have in common? Prices high enough because of taxes to support a black market. We are going from a “go after users and dealers/growers” regime to a go after “dealers/growers” regime. Which is to say we are repeating the Alcohol Prohibition model. And we know what a success that was.

    No more taxed or regulated than tomatoes.


    I don’t get why so many in the anti-Prohibition community think that Alcohol Prohibition is a good model to follow.

  36. We are changing from a Prohibition environment to a tax law environment. Would you rather be killed for a Prohibition violation than a tax law violation? Ask Eric Garner. Well you can’t – he is dead.

    No more taxed or regulated than tomatoes.

  37. I would too. We need to see a side by side comparison.

    CCHI is the least restrictive – and would basically force the government to be “hands off” for consumers of cannabis. Because of this, I think it’s not winnable.

    Reform CA has its flaws, but it allows personal cultivation within 100 square feet (not ideal, but better than the Parker initiative), and – more importantly – it prevents local governments from banning personal grows. This provision – allowing people within the state to legally grow their own (albeit a small crop) is a significant step toward freedom.

    I would also like to see signature gathering efforts. How about a monthly Weed Blog article “the status of legalization initiatives in California” that summarizes the efforts and includes statistics on signature gathering efforts – and even funding?

    As we crawl toward November 2016, the reality is that the initiative that has the most money will likely be the winner. As distasteful and unjust as that is, it is a reality of politics.

  38. Michael Jolson on

    Yeah for the corporate pot takeover ! Hip hip hooray ! 6 plants one ounce and go to jail for more! Yeah to tech yuppies and out of State corporate interest (George Soros) trying to instill a Colorado one size fits all –
    Language is everything – check out real,legalization in CA underway right now at http://www.cchi2016.org

  39. Michael Jolson on

    From Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow.
    Ordinarily I am a strong supporter of marijuana legalization given the insanity of putting (mostly poor and colored) people in cages, destroying families, and relegating millions to a permanent second-class status for using or selling a plant that is generally less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. And so it pains me to say that I cannot support the legalization initiative that will be on the ballot in Ohio tomorrow. In recent years I have become increasingly concerned by the way capitalist greed has overtaken the drug policy reform movement; it’s a sickening spectacle to see privileged white men rushing to get rich quick selling weed without any sense of irony that they will be making their fortune doing precisely what millions of impoverished people, especially black men, have been caged and shamed for doing for the past 40 years.
    One might think that legal weed might provide some economic opportunity for the families and communities that have been destroyed by the drug war. The revenue might be used for drug treatment on demand, or to help repair families and communities that have been destroyed, or to guarantee jobs for the millions who are unemployed due to criminal records. But instead, we’ve seen that capitalism — i.e., the mad rush for profit by people who have capital — is threatening to transform a movement for compassion and justice into another case study in how easily and quickly the wealthy and powerful adapt to new social norms and find a way to enrich themselves with complete disregard for basic notions of fair play and social justice. And so it is in Ohio.
    This ballot initiative grants an oligopoly (a form of monopoly benefitting a small group of people) to a group of 10 wealthy investors. The restriction can only be modified by a subsequent amendment to the state constitution. Ethan Nadelman writes: ”There’s something about a constitutionally mandated oligopoly for an agricultural product that just seems un-American.” I would disagree. For centuries, America embraced something like a constitutionally-mandated oligopoly for an agricultural product. It was called slavery. And now here in Ohio we are supposedly remedying one racial and social injustice — a brutal drug war — with a new economic regime that guarantees that only a small number of already wealthy people will be able to profit. No provisions are made for the communities and families that are left behind.
    I am told by many of my friends in the legalization movement that I must vote for this initiative because, if I don’t, I’ll be supporting the continued criminalization of poor people of color and that I will be withholding medical marijuana from people who are needlessly suffering. They admit the oligopoly is bad, but they say the alternative is worse. They urge me not to do or say anything that would slow down the momentum for legalization. I will confess that I’ve been somewhat torn. Reasonable people can disagree about how to vote in view of the dilemma presented. The capitalists are, in fact, holding the sick and poor as hostages for a large ransom. Who wouldn’t be tempted to pay it? But one thing cannot be denied: Granting an oligopoly to 10 wealthy investors who hope to get rich quick by exploiting an opportunity created by a movement that aimed to remedy decades of relentless punishment of the poorest and most vulnerable is not justice. Call it what you want, but please do not call it that.”

  40. 4 grams of concentrate limit, 6 plant limit with outdoor ban, stricter medical marijuana limits, stupid tax structure that’s similar to Washington State’s, $3 million a year to the cops to get more stoners in jail for DUIs. Sorry but I am voting no on this one. No compromise. We see how badly I-502 screwed Washington State. Not making the same mistake here. Awaiting the comments to try to convince me to “unite behind one”, which is a euphemism for “vote for my initiative no matter how bad it is”. Cry all you want but me and plenty of others aren’t changing our minds. The so called “marijuana reform” organizations can continue to ignore their constituents for their restrictive legalization systems and big money cash grabs, but we aren’t gonna have it here in California. Take it to another state.

  41. It looks like there is a 15% retail tax, plus an excise tax that I can’t find, plus a cultivation tax of $9.25 an ounce.

  42. Feds left it mostly up to states on booze as far as how they would implement the 21st Amendment. There are still a lot of dry counties in America. It’s going to be the same with cannabis.

  43. That’s a troublesome situation also. Most doctors won’t give medical marijuana recommendations now. That’s why there is a good business for those few that do.

    Stricter standards are a farce considering we will likely enact total, legal access for adults. What is the point? It just means a lot of medical marijuana patients would then be unable to get recommendations.

    That’s not a danger if the legalization initiative wins. But if, heaven forbid, the initiative should lose, California’s quasi-legalization would be over and many would suffer.

  44. This looks like a blueprint that Federal has been asking for in all the combined memos. It’s pretty straight forward. I would lobby to cut a few lines, and to clean it up. The meat is right here as far as non medical possession and home grow. (a) Subject to Sections II362.2, II362.3, and II362.4, but notwithstanding any other provision
    of law, it shall be lawful under state and local law, and shall not be a violation of state or local
    law, for persons 2I years of age or older to:
    (I) Possess, process, transport, purchase, obtain, or give away to persons 2I years of age or
    older, not more than 2 8. 5 grams of marijuana not in the form of concentrated cannabis;
    (2) Possess, process, transport, purchase, obtain, or give.away to persons 2I years of age or
    older, not more than four grams of marijuana in the form of concentrated cannabis, including as
    contained in marijuana products;
    (3) Possess, plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process not more than six living marijuana plants
    and possess the marijuana produced by the plants;
    (4) Smoke or ingest marijuana or marijuana products; and
    (5) Possess, transport, purchase, obtain, use, manufacture, or give away marijuana accessories
    to persons 2I years of age or older.

  45. For one thing it looks like the change in Medical that is part of the new law, won’t require patients to get the new cards right away. It looks like that would phase in after one year.

    (k) Strengthen the state’s existing medical marijuana system by requiring patients to obtain by
    January 1, 2018, a new recommendation from their physician that meets the strict standards
    signed into law by the Governor in 2015, and by providing new privacy protections for patients
    who obtain medical marijuana identification cards as set forth in this Act.

  46. I wonder how this country handled the transition from booze prohibition to legalization. How did the powers that be turn a cartel driven industry (underground production and sales managed by the mobsters of their day) into a federally controlled market for recreational enjoyment of alcohol. I do not like the Feds having anything to do with legalization, but it may be inevitable I believe. We’ve got to keep the MMJ clinics open for the guidance the clinics offer to those in dire need, as I am. Also, we’ve got to keep the distribution of medical and legal pot out of the pharmacies. Big Pharma has no place in this game. They have established their horrific agenda and along with other price gouging megalithic cartels they will poison the pot. We must push for the freedom of the individual over the state as much as possible to protect the growing rights of individuals.
    Let’s study history regarding alcohol related re-legalization to see if we can spot lessons. We must also not give away “the farm” to any mega-corporate interests so, in our zeal to push full legalization, we don’t let them get their foot in the door. I believe in time there will evolve a Big Marijuana (like Big Pharma) but how we get from point a to point b will establish just how much the individual has control over her or his rights in growing and using the weed. As to MMJ. I hope there remains independent clinics to help all the candidates for MMJ who need guidance. The enemy here is hidden in our individual will over the mega-interests and how stern we are with our interests or how much we give in to hidden real world mega-corporate interests as this industry blossoms.
    Let’s not kill the messingers. Johnny Green is helping everyone in a fairly unbiased way as I see it. Remember the original mission Johnny. Keep us on track for the rights of the individual over the state in this matter. And keep the optimism alive. It can push us over the edge.

  47. >>>”The Blue Ribbon Commission also highlights that legalization would not be an event that happens in one election but rather, it would be a process that unfolds over many years”

    This statement screams for details. – Just what provisions will take years to implement?

    There is no reason that all punishment of adults for possession of marijuana should not be ended within at least 6 months. If there is a longer time-table than that, it would be very troubling.

  48. I just got from this ABC article below that there is going to be a tax on growing and it looks like they mean that you will have to pay a tax on what you grow at home. This doesn’t matter to rich folk but it hits the poorest people hardest which means there are still going to be people growing illegally by keeping it a secret and not declaring it which means they will not have the right to police protection so its all back to where we started. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/highlights-california-marijuana-legalization-measure-34925582

  49. I, too, would be very interested in reading the “other side” of this. As a longtime proponent of well thought out, carefully considered change, I think all Californians deserve as much information as possible regarding this extremely important topic. I look forward to reading Mr. Green’s response to Mr. Jolson’s comment.

  50. I’d like to see an article comparing and contrasting the different California initiatives.
    I’m not a fan of political money grabs like they are trying to do in Ohio with Prop 3. Grassroots is hot right now and I’m on board with it. If what Michael Jolson says is true, then I’d like to hear both sides. Cheers.

  51. Before you get too hostile, just send Johnny Green some info and we are happy to post it. We can’t report any info if we don’t get any info. We have to dog in the fight and have always been all about helping campaigns get the word out. We have helped many before and will continue to donate our time to the cause. johnnygreen@theweedblog.com

  52. Michael Jolson on

    This” journalist” from Oregon refuses to report on the largest grassroots organization to legalize pot in CA, that is the California Cannabis Hemp Initiatve 2016! This shows he doesnt have his finger on the pulse of what is really going on- just what the corporations- Sean Parker- George Soros, etc want to instill upon us. Legalization is not keeping prohibition in place.
    This is a Reefer Madness Initiatve- treating pot like it is harmful. They wan to legalize 6 plants and one ounce, but if you grow more you can to jail for up to 6 months? Can we legally grow more than 6 tomatoes? Why tax recreational pot 25%? Is pot that harmful to be overly taxed- 15% plus sals tax? this Iniit doesnt free the currently incarcerated for cannabis crimes, not does it include, that i have seen, the growth of industrial hemp. Hemp is our number one renwable resource on Earth!
    Johhn y Green, I am soory but your reporting is biased and corpporate, as if you favor only covering large corporate funded campaigns and not grassroots petitons. People like you, DavidDwones, Chris roberts, and more try to suppress the truth and keep our grasrrots movement down with biased journalism.
    Fox News is less biased than this raf from Oregon. it is disgusting to see corporatism spill off into the Cannabis word, with biased writers like Johnny Green.
    Please check out what real legalization looks like -not a fake 6 plant one ounce petition! We will wortk vigourously to defeat this corporate handoo of our industry to the 1%- Sean Parker- George Soroes, MPP, etc.
    Moreover, it is sick and disgusting that people like Ethan Nadelman and Rob Kampia are tryingto force feed us this from out of state, instead of supporting activists in Caifornia or at least mentioning us. They reprsent the 1%!
    http://www.cchi2016.org has now hit the streets and has until April 20, 2016 to gahter 600,000 signatures to qualify for the November 8, 2016 ballot!

  53. So what happens if all the California initiatives pass? Legal weed across the world?(just a joke guys please no flame.)

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