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What Will It Take To Legalize Marijuana In California In 2016?


vote for california marijuana initiativesThere are now four states that have legalized marijuana. Those of course are Colorado (2012), Washington (2012), Oregon (2014), and Alaska (2014). Washington D.C. also voted to legalize marijuana in 2014. For a long time, most marijuana activists and analysts assumed that California would be the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. After all, California was the first to legalize medical marijuana. However, a successful recreational marijuana campaign hasn’t happened yet in California. Why is that? What would it take for California to legalize marijuana in 2016?

There are four things that I always offer up when I’m asked this question, which is a question I get asked daily via e-mail or social media. The first thing that will need to happen in order for California to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016 is unity. In the last two elections (2012 and 2014), California has had way too many competing initiatives. No state will legalize marijuana if it’s running four separate campaigns that refuse to work together, let alone California. Everyone needs to get behind one initiative, and give it all they got. Every national organization needs to get on board, and not try to hide behind the ‘it is not our initiative, so we are going to focus on other states’ BS. California will take everyone’s efforts, everyone’s resources, and everyone’s talents to succeed. If the reform community can unite, large contributors such as celebrities will follow.

The next thing I always offer up is that it’s going to take A LOT of money to legalize recreational marijuana in California in 2016. Oregon took roughly 4 million dollars to legalize during the 2014 Election, and that didn’t include another million dollars leading up to the election that was spend behind the scenes. California will take a bare minimum of 18-20 million dollars to legalize, and could potentially cost more than that. If Oregon cost 4 million to gather signatures and run media blitzes, than California is going to cost exponentially more. The signature requirement is higher in California than any other state that has ever run a successful legalization campaign. Anyone that has ever looked into media costs in California likely got sticker shock, and that’s just per market, of which there are MANY in California. Oregon only has a handful of large population centers around the state and it costs millions to run ads in those areas. Compare that to California, which has so many population centers that need to have strong media campaigns, it makes my head spin. The low end figure of 18 million could prove to be far too low.

The third thing I offer up to people is that there needs to be a strong initiative that is well written and heavily vetted. In a perfect world, marijuana would be regulated like tomatoes. However, regulating marijuana like tomatoes does not poll well at all, and if an initiative’s language doesn’t poll well, it doesn’t get large funding. The marijuana community is going to have have to balance between an initiative that contains everything we want but doesn’t get off the ground, and an initiative that makes some compromises but has a great chance of winning on Election Day 2016. The latter initiative is obviously not perfect, but it’s so much better than prohibition that it’s worth pursuing in my opinion.

Finally, a successful campaign in California in 2016 will require a strong campaign team. I’d personally like to see an ‘all-star cast’ made up of California reform leaders combined with members from other successful campaigns. I guarantee if you put California’s leading activists in the same room as people like Mason Tvert, Adam Eidinger, and Anthony Johnson, good things will happen. There will need to be professional campaigners from outside of the marijuana world too, but not at the expense of activists from inside of the marijuana fishbowl. If you have other things that you think I missed, by all means include them in the comments below. There’s always a chance that the California Legislature could legalize marijuana before the 2016 Election and save the reform community a lot of money and effort, but assuming that doesn’t happen, I think this four things are going to be required for a successful effort during the 2016 Election. This article is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but rather a list of the top things that I offer up to people. Go get ’em California, you can do this!!!! Onward to 2016!!!!


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. This is what they are trying to do in California with Sean Parker’s support of AUMA, the California Adult Use of Marijuana Act. It’s a horrible initiative, and gives all power to the State — which is controlled by moneyed interests.
    We defeated Prop. 19, Ohio residents defeated that monopolistic initiative, and people who like marijuana, freedom and competition will prevent AUMA from passing, too.

  2. Yep no bars, still debating letting you use in your own back yard(i live near a school so who knows if ill ever be able too have a barbaque and toke), I voted for it only out of the hope that as a medical patient I would be able to find places to use my medicine without having to run home all the time or ask a friend to use their house, really wanted bars(without them tourists basically have no choice but to break the law) and I dont see after reading the amendment how they think they have the right not to issue bar liscenses or allow people to use on site…….oh and dont get me started on toking in public vs brownbagging a 40 and who would get arested.

  3. Thats why they need to get a system like colorado, if ss tryed to use any of our info it would be thrown out(because they would have to use NSA resources) because its kept on a secure system set up to be wiped out if the fed tryed to take it. Colorado is the only state thats medical system has a chance of passing the interstate commerce test, mke your system county by county and the fed comes, make it open to medical card holders in other states and the fed comes, do everything you can to not partake in interstate commerce(of cannabis) and the fed leaves you alone. Making it all rec sucks because medical patients need the people with fake conditions to keep the prices down and make CBD products viable to make…..most medical patients dont wanna be high all the damn time we want CBD so rec only hurts us(though in colorado the tax is so high on rec it levels out here) because its focus is on getting people high not helping relieve pain!

  4. Dr Joxxxxx, not gonna give his name asked if the family would allow them to do a lobotomy on Grandma, saying there is just nothing else they can do, they had felt they could not use cannabis, as that is a secret, and is against high treasonous traitor’s laws because that is a constitutional right they did not want to grant my grandmother, she was so mistreated, those traitors

  5. The problem with the medical marijuana law is that all your personal info is on data bases from the doctor, verify service, state, dispensary.
    If someone is disabled and on ssdi they run a huge risk of loosing their income if the SS dept finds out and these are the people that really need it the most . Privacy act means nothing when the government whats info.

  6. Hi Johnny, You mentioned that the California Legislature could legalize marijuana by it’s self. How could that be done?

  7. of course if it is truly a government secret, i suppose it might be, maybe i should shut up, i just felt people ought to know, there is a second way to live, that is dependable in the sense the you know that you are going to feel well, if you imbibe, no libe lol really, if i ever had a cold in the past, which is not common, but if i ever did, the effects became hardly noticeable to the point i remember after imbibing on the good herb, that i found myself enjoying a youtube video to the point that i saw something funny, and i found myself laughing, which just moments before imbibing, i felt awful with a cold, that experience thank heavens that year, and other miracles at other times through the use of that magical plant has told me that God does work in mysterious ways, and thank you Jesus, wherever you are, and the experience told me that year the importance of good health, that year told me the importance of facts concerning the magical herb, historical, and spiritual, Jesus was said to have healed the sick with the stuff, and people were said to have benefited from his advice, and although he is Gods son, some groups feel he has somehow connected with God to the point that Jesus is God somehow maybe that if that is so is why i had a vision that i saw him one time, maybe it is true he is still alive, unless that guy i was looking at his spirit, or the spirit, what if then he fulfilled that role that enacted the play of life that we might stumble upon to where we see revelations of ancient past to where well, im rambling, got to fix something to eat…it at the time though i was trembling at the thought of that world when i had that vision, must have been those mushrooms, or what could it have been? unless it was his spirit to make me think of the connection to the bible that i never delved into in detail, ,, to this day i havent read the bible i am always too busy thinking of how to earn some kind of living, hmm, ok, maybe a snack or something..
    After spending time with a dear loved one recently, i am thankful, now if i can just find some nuggetry of fun to start off this day, but am in remembrance of something last nite heard on the radio, that ufos are more secretive than the atomic bomb, i believe that the most dangerous thing in the world is not ufo’s, it is high treason, maybe the criminals are loose, and the innocent are in prison then, aside from murderers, and those that are physically violent, grandad used to tell me every once in a while that truth is stranger than fiction, if anyone sees flaws in my think, please clue me in, but it seems to me that in this fallen land, that the truth is that we have a cure for most ills to a lot of people, through cannabis use, and to not try to tell people about that truth, that we will never feel good about our selves, how can we bare that cross? the only ones who can bare that cross are those who do not care who dies, ufos? come on! abduct me!

  8. lol i was being of course sarcastic with the satan remark at the beginning of that, edit is off now, so stuck with that thought, and now am typecasted lol!
    love it!! :-))
    really though, is there any reason for any group of people to keep cannabis a secret? well think about it, we have all thse groups of people, and if you go and ask them their opinion, it is interesting what they think, most are opinionated, some more than others, i have heard that there are over a hundred religions world wide, i think closeer to 200 maybe or maybe more, and for any one group to take soul ownership of all of our counsciencessnessess’s lol, just wont happen, but i think we will all come together, not because we are forced to, but because we want to get to know our neighbor, all of our brothers and sisters, so that we can share our love for one another, and those things in life that are a beauty in our lives that we might like to share with others, like right now, i for instance am thrilled to be able to witness one of those moments where it feels very peaceful indeed:-), but in a friendly way, thats why i think it is good to be honest, but i can see the need of secrecy to protect the plants from those out there that do have the bad habit of stealing, you have to consider that type of thing, and cause iof you dont, you could be disapointed from what i have been told, so i dont know what else to say about that lol, lol – but how will anyone know what the effects of the nifty plant is like on a average person? if we dont document the effects, it fascinates me, and i feel honored to be able to witness this moment, if ther eis a reason i am wrong, if so, id like to know, i mean what is it with folk being against bliss, through the entheogen called cannabliss, umm, i mean cannabis :-) some enliven ones’ spirits more than others:-)??
    if so please tell me the reason, as i should want to know, as far as i can tell, it has only blessed me, and I thank God for it, and sure mean no disrespect from my lack of knowledge not unbeknownst to me, i mean we all have to consider all angles, and i just don’t see any reason to fear, and i love the moment in this blissful time i lol
    ok, i will hush, and do tv and refresh this dew:-)

  9. on a church channel, idiopathic psycosis is being talked about along with different types of schizophrenia, where the mind does not work right, now i ask you, how is a person’s mind supposed to function happily, if the mind finds that those around them are living a lie?

    they create mental dis-ease by removing kaneh-bosm, the only cure is to engage the cannabisical blossom with the brain, body and soul, and to get back to the enjoyment of this world that we are born to do in the first place
    here is a more enjoyable thing to watch on tv
    its a hraveytoon cartoon, this one is about a boy with a lot of imagination, google says the boy in the cartoon is called Dante Dreamer http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0150271/
    that was the cartoon that was just on, the kid had an overactive imagination
    imagination is what makes life fun
    cannabis i notice boosts my own imagination, cannabis makes thinking fun
    cant wait to re-up, there is more to it than that

  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4TVECOJzog
    25 billion is spent for drug control programs like and like enforcement, 10 billion goes to prevention and treatment, that money is wasted money, that money could feed and house the homeless, not line prisons with innocent people, to pay off the owners of the prison industrial complex with cheap prison slave labor, and just because they happen to use cannabis that they are somehow thought to be undesirables, and tossed away, like newman said on seinfeld, “And yet, it’s perfectly legal to take a man’s soul and crush it out like a stale Pall Mall” its akin to murder to put innocent people in those cells, what kind of life does the usa embrace? how can the fabric of this country continue as it is, it is a disgrace the monster of humanity that exists in these states, well, some of them anyway
    Mr. Cohen is wrong when he says that no one wants a kid to use marijuana, i could have used it as a kid, yeah, but he is right that until the federal government stops with their lies, no kid is going to believe them, and that every time someone is arrested for marijuana, the arrest its self is a crime that goes against our constitution, where is the funding to arrest those who commits the crime of going against the constitution of the united states of america?
    Arrest the purpeTRAITORS that breaks constitutional laws that guarantee our rights to liberty, religion, and the freedom that the soldiers fought and many tragically dies apparently in vain for, i was going to mention Judge Francis Young’s finding on marijuana, that his finding were that marijuana is the safest substance known to man paraphrasing,
    but then i realized that this video is edited, so i found the full video here, which i have not seen yet, so maybe that is mentioned, and even if it is mentioned, the man in charge of the nations drug control policy is Michael Botticelli, and he seems quite comfortable being ignorant of anslinger, and marijuana, as well as the rights of the cannabis community to hold jobs and take part in a FREE society, or else he would not be for their encarceration ever, the only non truth i saw so far is in the assumption that kids can not benefit from its use, i know i could have benefited as a kid through the use of marijuana, here is the original video mr cohen is seen in, its titled Marijuana Policy, and its original running time is 1 hour and 45 minutes, so this is just a small clip, will watch it, as soon as i refill this mountain dew, i am alone for a couple of days, so i finally have some time to myself
    representitive of who? not the cannabis community, more like rep of the pharmaceutical industry, cause he said he is fearful that people will line up like they do at liquor stores, and he fears what? commerce? danny davis, illinois what does he fear? a line of people fears him, he can get over it, danny davis, a true sissy, and all out ignorant, or just bad guy, illinois? why do you vote up people like that? he is afraid, the minds of those who would rather see people in prisons is what the cannabis community should fear, and danny davis does not represent the cannabis community, the hearts of those in the churches that have no rights is something else in illinois he should consider, just look at the lack of moral, the murder rate in chicago alone, that is what should fear him most, it makes a battle zone in other countries look like a playground at times, despicable people he is afraid, of what, a run on cheetos? so lets everyone lock everyone away, idiots, i dont know if i can listen to any more of this nonsense, i am only at the 31 minute mark and already ignorant people are comparing cannabis with alcohol, alcohol kills people, marijuana does not, so his fears, he i noticed he made no claim to fears of all the pill addicts lined up in all of his chicago pharmaceutical outlets, and those pills do kill, that scummy, oh, really all those against marijuana should not even be representatives at all, as they do not represent all the people, including the cannabis community, as they legally and morally should, as they have no inclination to even know about the history of the war in which they wish to promote, who anslinger is, or hurst, that hurst’s castle in san simion, california between san francisco and los angeles, must have cost some money, did hurst think he was king of his castle of lies? the idiots, they know not history, they and due to you know, i wonder just who it is that have lead the churches astray, thousands, or lets see, the dates, many years ago, when they removed cannabis from the bible, forgot the date of the lets see, google says the Septuagint, which is the early translation of the hebrew bible, google of wikipedia: …”The Septuagint is the basis for the Old Latin, Slavonic, Syriac, Old Armenian, Old Georgian and Coptic versions of the Christian Old Testament, need to re-up, so i am not too uptight to think about this important topic, but it looks like the texts for the bible was written maybe 300 years before christ, but i read somewhere of texts that go back much further, seems 3 to 5 or 6 thousand years, or is that gnostic? – oh, not into looking for the info now, after i reup i will

    it was warned that anyone who alters or changes the bible would be cursed with all kinds of dis-eases, isnt that what has happened? or was that added after cannabis was taken out by warmongers? cause every sense we have been listening to the mentality of those like adam and eve? they always speak with fear of life, the demons they see, their hate for the world they were in, not the love of, and today, it has all morphed into their preparedness of war against all that they fear, and they call themselves normal, well rounded people?!
    oh i will watch this later after i re-up, too disgusting hearing them boast of this and that, and absolutely no remorse for the wrongs done by those who enforce, disgusting, got to be something else to do besides listen to traitors, i really think the liars, the ignorant in suits should be indited for inciting war against the cannabis community, they refuse to allow us work for heavens sakes

  11. We agree. I have always been strongly against anyone going to jail for the use of cannabis, whether for recreational or, medicinal purposes. And yes, It should have been rescheduled many years ago. Cannabis was legalized first because of it’s medicinal attributes, not for it’s use as an intoxicant. Recreational cannabis would not have happened without first, medical cannabis. It’s my desire to see Washington keep (at least some of) the medical dispensaries remain independent. I don’t know why my advocating for this method is viewed as being controversial. One system doesn’t have to exclude the other. Thanks.

  12. I believe that we need to observe the Constitution of the usa. The laws in it are supposed to trump all other laws against it.. religious rights too

    When will we stop hearing government approved churches tell us that we need to confess our sins, and start hearing churches confess their sins to humanity, kaneh-bosm is marijuana, it is in the original Bible, the copies have it removed, why so?! SATAN?!
    Users of it are not neccesarily bad people, marijuana does not kill people like heroin and alcohol, and tobacco, pills, joke is on us, this country is evil, ran by traitors who would rather arrest someone like Johnathan Magbie, than leave him alone, arrest mike pence the you know, i dont want to think about it, so i will continue eating this chicken dinner, with corn and potatoes, and mountain dew, over ice, really, it is hard to look up to, or even have respect for traitors, imagine, if they have been convicted of the crime they are guilty for, they would stop doing it, the state wouldn’t have to kill them through lethal injection or whatever means the state has to kill people it deems as undesirable, they would need to do their job though, or else step down, this country relies on leaders to give them sound advice, not fear mongering war loving talk, when i think of my Grandmother, a sufferer of depression, cannabis could have given her bliss, instead doctors did electroshock therapy on her, the violent convulsions she went through made her bones break, we visited her at madison hospital around 1969, you remember, the summer of love? I remember as i was only around 8 years old, and we went for chicken together at colonel sanders, by the bridge near vevay, on the ohio river, when we got to the hospital, i noticed a long line of people in white socks, they all looked like they were walking in step, behind one another, in a large line that extended from a building, they had no smiles, no expressions at all really, i imagine a lot of them had a lobotomy, i watched a documentary that told how they do it, one doctor used an instrument like an ice pick, pushed it through the side of the eye to get to the part of the brain that houses imagination, and gives it a swirl, effectively stopping the ability of the patient to have imagination, it stopped them from having emotion, it made them walk single file like zombies, and it was all approved by people in this state of indiana, but she had a cast on her arm where her bones had been snapped from her muscles flexing too “violently” through the inhumanity of those who would rather people be put through that HELL, than have cannabis in their brain, is that the type of people any good person would care to sidle up next to? i think not, she forgot who her own family was, this country is evil for being evil to the cannabis community, but it doesn’t have to be that way, it needs to know the truth, and we have leaders who hire people to maintain the lie that marijuana has no medical value, even though the government grows cannabis for patients who value the relief that cannabis gives them and they lie and say the children are at risk, cause long ago, doctors gave cannabis sativa to infants for colic, that is a book the lovers of hitler forgot to burn
    release all your hostages indiana
    they are saying that mercy is a good trait that us humans should have, and i agree, i however wonder if the Jews had too much mercy, prior to being gassed, we know what the inhumanity of the war lovers did to them, it is high treason to commit war on groups of people, and i am sick of reading the hyperbole in the news, and the lies the ignorant spout, as if we all should believe anything they have to say, how do we have mercy on those that have no mercy on us??
    thinking about this makes me want to throw this laptop in the trash, umm, as the whole thing seems hopeless, but this laptop is not mine, and it would not solve a thing, so who are those that are keepers of all lies? obviously, they could be just ignorant, the ignorant might not necessarily be evil if they do not know any better, i was born in 1961, and through out my life, i did not even do an aspirin, let alone pot, cause i was lied to by my government, i believed them, much like my grandma did, i was ignorant in the sense, that i was living my life through the path recommended to take by liars in the government, i was not following my own path in life by reason of my own experience with the cannabis plant though, so i would not have believed the cannabis communities statements either, but when my heart stopped twice on the operating table, i knew i had to do something else besides the so called legal stuff, so from 1961 to around 1992ish, i was with out cannabis, a hell all unto its self as i look back now, but then why are they leading us, if they are just ignorant people, or why should they lead if they do not know what the effects of kaneh-bosm is on their own bodies, its like having children lead, which would be a stupid thing, no wonder there are wars, unruly children are at the helm, Jesus was said to have given cannabis to people for their medical benefit, why does the federal government go against Jesus’ ways of healing the sick, they obviously can’t read the constitutional rights they are supposed to protect, in God they trust? or In war and hate?

    Give me my weed indiana through the right to purchase a safe product from stores like colorado, i dont like your alcohol, which kills, i dont like your pills either, i dont like your attitude that you think you are better than me, i dont like it when i am not given a chance to work, but told come back when it is out of your system, you are not, gee, maybe i should join the secret groups, some of the mainstream folk are just too ignorant to listen to
    we cant save the america lives in the cannabis community, if we can not build our church too, instead we are refused to be allowed to work, we are told to pull down our pants like animals, to be discriminated against, we are to be told to submit to their kenneh-bosm free fake bible scriptures or else be put in prison, i choose neither, although their is wisdon in the old texts, their are a lot of omissions, which tells me they prefer the laws of the adam and eve loving fallen man, over the laws of those in the garden, which they now feel is pagen, cause they do not see cannabis in the bible the way it was originally written, God is love, not traitorism loving ignorant liar loving hate, and they choose to ignore the constitution of the united states, which makes me feel ill to know that truth,
    if the people that hate cannabis and all those who use it would care to just be separated from us, fine, i just want peace, but those lacking love are mentally dis-eased, which makes them all dangerous in my mind, as they then have no morals, and therefore could care less for our lives, their track record from 1947 on shows so, ask the family of Johnathan Magbie
    just tried again to reach ewtn, but according to the recorded operators’ voice, “all circuits are busy, try again later”
    I am eager to see their public take on the omission of kaneh-bosm, and then why the pope is against cannabis since Jesus used it, and the church acts as though they admired Jesus, and the three wise men, the men worshipped the cannabis plant its self all parts of it, yet the bible calls them wise, how do they defend then the pope’s attitude that cannabis should be against the law, it was not against the morals of Jesus to heal people with it, why are they so anti Jesus? Why is the pope anti-cannabis? Anti Jesus then of him, and sort of for war too which makes him either ignorant, or maybe they are all part of some secret group? But even if they are all in on some secret thing, what of the rights of those they lock up? their evil needs to just stop.
    They, if we again could publicly rather than secret get to the root of that right there, end of the war of the cannabis community would finally be seen, as it is, we have mentalities lacking history of their own government, and especially lacking in the etymological origin of kaneh-bosm, one catholic gal called it bread, the jinga players in denver i believe i heard them say were catholic, i talked with a few other catholics in denver, seemed nice, never broached the topic of cannabis with them though, i wish now i did, the world needs the truth, that for some it is integral to a happy life
    the non believers of that are like no no, live your life like i do, well, i do not want in their head, i enjoy my own, and so i dont care to hear anyone say dont be yourself, be like me, that is pretty much how prohibitionists of cannabis behave, monobeing mentalities, although we are all different with different likes, and yet we do all share a common bond, somehow through that mysterious cord of life called love, any thoughts contrary to love are misguided, and i see a lot of misguided folk out there concerning cannabis

  13. Uncle Arthur, Thank you. I also enjoy the conversations we have on Weedblog too. We are living in interesting times. Take care!

  14. David, I want to thank you for having a good discussion. I’m glad that we can discuss and debate in a civil manner. That’s why I like Weedblog, because many of the people here like yourself are like good friends. And for my part, I don’t want to see Washington’s medical get screwed up either or being squashed, so I’ll continue to read your posts to see how Washington’s medical is doing in the face of uncertainty. Best regards.

  15. In Oregon smaller cities have been hiring lobbyist’s to help them ban or block recreational cannabis stores from opening in their towns. This happened in Washington too. Neighborhood religious opposition to cannabis stores can boil down to the neighborhood level, an example being a recent lawsuit brought against the city of Seattle by a church which operates a “Youth Center” and wants the courts to rule it’s therefore a school and subject to the 1000 foot proximity rule. Passing a legalization law doesn’t suddenly make issues such as these suddenly go away. In fact most just begin often brought about due to miss-communication/misunderstanding prior to the laws enactment. This is when the heavy- lifting truly begins.

  16. Many people don’t seem to understand Washington’s grow culture. At present there are thousands of private, individual medical grows in Washington, particularly in and around the Seattle metro area. Washington’s chronic pain provision makes it relatively easy for those who qualify, have a green thumb, enough space and/or a desire, to already grow up to 15 plants and possess 64 OZ. of cannabis flowers. The legislature can make changes to Washington’s 502 recreational law to include private recreational grows. However, patient advocates like myself are committed to protecting Medical patient grows. I don’t want to see the state legislature lower current medical patient grow limits downward, in order to justify allowing 3-4 plant 502 recreational grows if it comes down to that. We’ll have to see what happens in the next session. Medical patients should come first and foremost. Washington’s 502 recreational grow exclusion seems to bother those not living here more than our residents themselves.

  17. Unc’ California has an “Any ailment which may be remedied by the use of Cannabis” provision written into it’s MMJ law. Just as Washington has a “Chronic Pain Provision” written into it’s medical law. In California, I don’t see a California state official suddenly try to make the claim that medical cannabis doesn’t actually provide relief for a wide range of ailment’s. In Washington, the state isn’t going to say they’ve been wrong for 16 years, that cannabis doesn’t actually provide chronic pain relief. The Genie’s are out of the bottles. California and Washington’s medical dispensaries have years of experience dealing with patient illness and chronic pain issues. They’ve also both done good job’s, especially given that both states medical dispensaries remain unregulated, and have years of legal precedence on their side.

  18. Kathleen Chippi on

    I don’t think David is down on legalization–he thought just like most of WA and CO thought that they were actually getting legalization–and they did not. If they did the CO Attorney General wouldn’t be arguing to the CO Supreme Court right now that both MMJ and MJ are ILLEGAL at both state and federal levels. And if you actually read and comprehend the language that was passed (not the fraudulent marketing of) you will understand that the CO AG is correct. The word “legalize” is not mentioned in A64 and the proponents asked the word “legalization” be removed from the title at title board hearings.

    6-15-11 2:02pm – Original Title Board Hearing for “Regulate Marijuana” (A64)

    Bill Hobbs-Deputy Sec of State
    Dan Dominico- Attorney Generals Office
    Jason Gelender- Senior Attorney Office of Legal Counsel
    Mason Tvert- Proponent
    Steve Fox-Director of Public Relations Marijuana Policy Project, DC (on behalf of proponent Brian Vicente)
    Mr. Ramie-Proponents (A64) Attorney

    Mr. Ramie (A64), “I think it would work if we deleted the word, starting on line 1, with legalization.”

    1 hour, 15 minutes, 46 seconds

    Mr. Fox (MPP), “Tomatoes are legal. You can buy them anywhere. Tomatoes have been legalized. But as you’ve seen with the medical marijuana system, it is a highly regulated (emphasis added) system by a regulatory agency and that is what we’re proposing. I appreciate that you prefer marijuana over legalization because legalization would be truly misleading as a part of the title.”

    1 hour, 21 minutes, 48 seconds

    Steve Fox (MPP on behalf of Brian Vicente), “I mean she made our point better than we have, which is legalization is not what this is. She said it clearly and they are going to propose an initiative regarding the legalization of marijuana. What we are doing is regulating marijuana. It’s a significant legal difference and it would be inaccurate to call it legalization.”

    1 hour, 31 minutes, 28 seconds

    Mr. Hobbs (about adding “like alcohol” to the title) “I would be troubled by that…strictly speaking there are some deviations. It’s similar to alcohol but it is not the same.”

    “I agree with you that it may be misleading.” response from either Galenger or Dominco.

    Re-hearing July 6th minute 29, 10 seconds

    Mr. Ramie (A64), “If there is a concern “in a manner similar to alcohol”suggests it would be legal at all levels, a, we don’t want to have that concern out there…from our prospective, a, we would, it would be acceptable to us in all 8 of the titles to drop the words “in a manner similar to alcohol.”

    minute 32, 10 seconds

    Mr. Ramie (A64), “I’m hearing allot of objection and I can’t honestly say that the objections that I’m hearing are completely crazy or off the wall and I know Mr. Hobbs has heard me for many years that the objections are without merit, I really can’say that for these…So lets take the phrase out. And if we want to present the message in campaigning, where we can do that, we’ll do it-but we absolutely do not want to have something floating around in the title that could either be characterized as a catch phrase and tilt the argument one way or the other in the official title or have anything in there that can mislead the voters.”

    Mr. Ramie (A64), “Exactly, and if we’re suggesting “in a manner similar to alcohol”, if that phrase, and I see how it could, carry the suggestion that we’re now wholey legal on all levels, we don’t want to suggest that because we’re not.”

    Mr Hobbs, “And I agree with you, it’s a good faith argument that they have made here.”

    Back to first hearing:

    1 hour, 37minutes, 15 seconds

    Mr. Hobbs “For me personally, when I was looking at this, I thought the most important thing, if I am interpreting the measure correctly, is that local governments can prohibit all of these things within their jurisdiction. Um. And I thought that was really a significant thing.”

    1 hour, 53 minutes, 40 seconds

    Mr. Ramie, “It seemed important for us……and then employers may place restrictions on the use of marijuana by employee’s. ”

    1 hour, 56 minutes, 6 seconds

    Mr. Fox (MPP), “We, based on experience, know during the campaign, that there will be exaggerations about what our initiative will and won’t do on the driving side and the employer side and so on. And we wanted to have this language in there so that people know…… that employers still have the right to do things.” (FIRE YOU and you will get no UN-employment check from the state)

    2 hour, 3 minutes, 38 seconds

    Mr. Dominico (AG Office), ” I just wanted to raise the fact that even if this passes, we’re not technically permitting a person 21 or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana. We’re just saying the state won’t prosecute you.”

    2 hours, 6 minutes, 44 seconds

    Mr. Ramie, “We are requiring the implementation of a licensing facility, if you will, a process to get a license. We’re not requiring the granting of a license.”

  19. Kathleen Chippi on

    Both WA and CO ‘flawed experience’ were written by MPP and the “flaws’ were intentional. Now Mason Tvert (CO) and MPP (CO/WA/AZ) are in CA with more crap language and fraudulent marketing. I called it SCAMpaigning but when you have the money–you win.

  20. Kathleen, I responded, but my comment is moderation. So you can check later when it appears. Anyways, I’m out Happy Thanksgiving to everybody and to the wonderful folks at WeedBlog.

  21. For discussion purposes, I live in Louisiana. I have lived in southern California in the past and hence my enthusiasm for discussing California legalization. I grant you, while 64 is not perfect, I did like the fact that as an adult, that I could access a rec store. It felt good not to buy from some sketchy environment where I could risk getting ripped off. At least in a legal market, I can demand customer satisfaction. In an illegal environment, if I complain, I could get shot, physically attacked, robbed or whatever. If a Co. resident recreational user doesn’t want to pay dispensary store prices, than that person can grow a certain # of plants unlike in Washington. Even the price of getting a red card has fallen through the floor. Maybe, I’m naïve, but I’m seeing a lot of positives. I wasn’t in a state of paranoia when I was in Colorado, unlike most states. I admit there’s still much room for more improvement. Personally, I would like to see cannabis descheduled and regulated than like coffee, rosemary of sage, but I don’t live in a perfect world pointed out in your reply.

  22. Kathleen Chippi on

    The only part of “like alcohol” we got in CO is the age of 21–which is BS for the safest therapeutic substance known to man and should have no age if we base life on science and facts.

    In CO, 14,400 liquor licenses are issued and regulated by 12 full time employees on a 1.2 million dollar budget. Alcohol licenses cost anywhere from $3.50-$1,250 yearly. (COORS pays $1,250 but there are about 60 plus cheaper options) In order to prevent monopolies (when prohibition ended and through today) people in CO can only have ONE retail liquor license.

    In CO, 200 A64 licenses are issued and regulated by 50-60 full time employees on a 50-100 million dollar budget. A64 licenses cost you $2,300-tens of thousands. People can have as many retail stores as they can afford and monopoly was the model used, not banned.

  23. Kathleen Chippi on

    In Cali adults can get a card for writers block because it’s written that way…and no state registry option/requirement. Be thankful. You have state and federal medical rights on top of MMJ alone. You do not have over regulation like CO is getting. Do you want 700 new pages of pot prohibitions in Cali too? Because the Mason Tvert/MPP language brings you in line with CO–and let me tell you in 25 years of living here: Pot was more ‘legal’ in CO in 1975 (full prohibition) than it is now with A64 (‘legalization’).

    Before 2010 MMJ laws (a decade after MMJ and no unconstitutional regulations) and 2012 A64 (‘legalization’) everyone had pot, thousnads grew it and no one was ever busted. Search the papers. Possession was a misdemeanor ticket of $100 and rarely college kids in dorms got tickets. No ‘grow busts’ existed.

    Now we have people who do not understand the legalities letting cops into their houses w/o warrants to ‘count plants’. We have “pot cops” with a 50-100 million budget to enforce the dozens of new pot prohibitions and we have old time activists who have been working on this for decades getting called “prohibitionists”? I mean what happened that when activists like myself–who want cannabis legal for all people and all uses to be legal — get bashed by the new ‘suits’ with money and the drug reform groups as being “crazy” and “unrealistic” when SCIENCE shows us cannabis is the safest therapeutic substance known to man–F “like alcohol” becuase it’s nothing like alcohol. The ONLY thing “like alcohol” in CO is the age of 21 (IMO BS anyways, people are adults at 18).

  24. “Cali should continue to love what it has–a system the state cannot dilute or over regulate-brought to them by AIDS activists and not ‘suits’ with money.”
    Fine, then they should make that “system” available for all adults without a mandatory medical requirement or justification.

  25. Keep up the good work! It warms my heart to know that people are fighting for adult use in California. CaliNormal, you’re great, thanks!

  26. Kathleen Chippi on

    no one reads or understands the language anyway-
    Who in CO thought “legalizing like alcohol” and “ending prohibition” would mean almost 700 new pages of pot prohibitions when they were promised the whole enchilada?

  27. Kathleen Chippi on

    hear hear. In CO, DORA just wrote a 97 page review suggesting the general assembly “sunset” the CDPHE medical marijuana program in 2016–

    The problems with that?:
    1. You cannot “sunset” a Constitutional Amendment (The people would have to repeal A20 in a statewide vote)
    especially by having the general assembly do so… The general assembly could add it to the state ballot in 2016 for a vote of the people.
    2. The reason they are talking this way is because they love the millions in taxes and they feel MMJ was BS anyway and now that A64 pot is there–the state wants more money to enforce the almost 700 new pages of marijuana prohibitions ‘legalization’ added to the CO books.

    The Colorado medical marijuana constitutional amendment is a model that is self regulated by patients and caregivers–businesses are not mentioned–but it addresses “acquisition, dispensing and sales” by patients and caregivers ONLY. The state has known for 14 years it has no authority to regulate or tax patients or caregivers. They do not like this and will continue to try to change it.

    The CDPHE, the general assembly and the media keep referring to medical marijuana as a “loophole” that needs to b closed. Since when is a Constitutional Amendment a “loophole”

    Cali should continue to love what it has–a system the state cannot dilute or over regulate-brought to them by AIDS activists and not ‘suits’ with money.

  28. California had plenty of time to establish a coherent adult use legalization market, in fact they had at least one decade to do so. Procrastination is not a solution in my book. I don’t want to see medical marijuana eradicated in California in any way shape or form, but I’ll tell you something: I will not live under a cannabis Jim Crow apartheid regime where recreational users have to be fined and harassed and subject to the sleazy black market just to provide cover for medical users. And another thing about those medical marijuana laws, you wouldn’t have them in the first place if wasn’t for the rec users voting for it. But David, if that’s how you feel, then we have to agree to disagree. But can you and I agree that no one should be fined or jailed for weed? Can we agree that cannabis should be descheduled (not rescheduled) and regulated like coffee, sage rosemary and time? You seem like a decent guy, I hope we can find some common ground.

  29. Kathleen Chippi on

    “However, regulating marijuana like tomatoes does not poll well at all, and if an initiative’s language doesn’t poll well, it doesn’t get large funding.”

    The people IN CO were polled “who wants to legalize like alcohol and end prohibition?” Promising “ending prohibition” is HUGE and people overwhelmingly voted yes– and then the people got almost 700 new pages of pot prohibitions added to the books. Is this ‘legalization’ or is this selling out to the ‘suits’?

  30. The legalization of recreational marijuana has the potential
    to bring in millions of dollars a year in revenue. Like seen in Washington and Colorado,
    the United States economy could see a boost in jobs created, additional revenue
    from sales tax and less money spent on marijuana related drug crimes. In addition,
    the revenue being brought in by recreational marijuana can help put money back
    in public school districts and help bring back extra-curricular programs that
    were removed due to lack of funding. There are various opinions the on
    marijuana industry especially when it comes to recreational use, but one thing
    that is undeniable on both sides of the issue is the amount of revenue and
    potential boost to the economy the legalization of recreational marijuana could
    bring to the united states.

  31. David, I replied to your comment, but it’s currently in moderation, so tune in later when you time, thanks.

  32. David, that’s your privilege. Please don’t be down on legalization in general because of Washington’s flawed experience. I think that Washington’s dreadful experience has jaded your view on legalization from what I’ve gleaned from your posts. That’s understandable, but lamentable. I don’t want to be a criminal anymore, and I don’t want to buy from some black market sleaze, or have to know a friend of a friend of a friend that may have weed. I’m too old for that. I will continue to visit Colorado and perhaps Oregon in 2016, but if you want to visit California, have at it. Different strokes for different folks I guess. I wish you well in Washington. I hope that the powers that be will right the wrongs on I-502 and leave your medical marijuana program in peace.

  33. I can;t imagine missing out on seeing the Redwoods or Fern Canyon because of a personal anti-non legalization boycott.. It’s your right to do so of course. But Colorado vs. California? No comparison. If I were kidnapped and my kidnapper’s told me you can either use cannabis freely in landlocked Colorado or, never ever be able to visit California,. I’d chose California every time.

  34. It’s changing. I iive in Seattle where we have 334+ dispensaries located all over the city. Much Like California our dispensaries remain unregulated by the state. Our two States are the hold out’s, in allowing unregulated medical dispensary’s to flourish and operate openly. Other legalization states (beside Washington) have already or, are sadly about to give up their medical marijuana laws and medical dispensaries without so much as a whimper, much less a fight. In Washington we intend to FIGHT. In fact many in here the Washington medical community would love to now have our yes to legalization votes back. We were promised if legal passed our medical laws would remain intact . It clear now that they weren’t telling us the truth. Personally, I’d much rather see recreational scraped completely if that’s what it’s going to take to keep our hard fought for medical rights intact. Politicians most at the local level have made investments in Rec. cannabis and certainly don’t want to see any competitions so they can rake cannabis consumers across the coals financially. Medical dispensaries as a general rule sell at much lower prices and offer much better selections than rec stores. . I and so many others in Washington would have voted no to recreational cannabis if we knew how intent the political investment class were set on destroying our medical cannabis freedoms.

  35. Every new legalization state claims to have found the perfect legalization scheme.Removing medical cannabis entirely only brings more commercialism, greed, less competition and much higher prices. Something is lost culturally too in allowing contributor paid-off politicians the ability to eliminate the entire concept of what is medical marijuana,.which took many years and many hard fights to finally obtain. I certainly wouldn’t give up on it easily without deep consideration or even another fight. Recreational shouldn’t eliminate medical. Consider why it is that state politicians are pushing ending medical so hard? They have skin in the game and hate competition. Remember their agenda’s are often much different than our own Just a thought.

  36. California must have looked into a crystal ball and seen the future. States that have voted to legalize run the risk of losing their medical marijuana laws, or watching them become part of a commercialized rec. scheme. If I was a Californian I’d keep the unregulated dispensaries and ditch all thought of legalization. Can you imagine how expensive prices for Rec. canabis in say San Francisco would amount to? My advice. Wait. It’s not a race and losing patient access to medical’s just not worth it and again those prices UGH!

  37. Underlining the old saying: “It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when you don’t care who gets the credit.”

  38. The 2014 campaign to legalize in California was basically a pissing contest, with competing initiatives bad-mouthing each other. GUYS ! Come on ! Organize to legalize ! One initiative from ONE organization, please ! And if we’re going to treat cannabis JUST LIKE ALCOHOL (regulate and tax), make it legal to consume pot EVERYWHERE that it’s legal to consume alcohol ! Restaurants, night clubs, concerts, sporting events, parks and beaches…. even if you have to designate “smoking areas” to deal with second hand smoke (although second hand POT smoke won’t sicken or kill you like tobacco… hell, it won’t even get you HIGH !). Don’t make pot smokers hide in their homes while drunks can drink practically everywhere !

  39. For a while, Lansing had quite a few, but that changed quickly. Dispensaries are too much in limbo, the laws need to change in MI. I now live in Oregon and they’re everywhere and growing at a rapid pace. Recent laws allowed them to expand outside the major cities. MI shouldn’t be too far behind, just need the organization and push. Good luck!

  40. Joey Lyricalmindstate Reichard on

    michigan barely has dispensaries there all miles away and in california they’re everywhere

  41. There are many ill, poorly doctored Americans who need help, many who have already found healing in cannabis, and impressive scientific conclusions that it kills cancer and serious inflammations. The medical factor should lead the legalization effort, a cultural revolution that sheds a money motivated health system- ism, and returns to common sense holism. Yes, we talk money on the net, and it is a major factor, but more importantly is the education we should receive from the healing wonders of a plant that might eliminate a huge portion of the crap that is sold as medicine, and the phony sales pitches. I think we should have no worries about CA passing it in 2016. Oregon sets out a good model that can be adapted. Think big for 2016: California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, plus surprises.

  42. There were three major ‘October surprises’ that worked to narrowly defeat Prop 19 in 2010. One was the U.S. Attorney General announcing the feds would take severe measures against any recreational dispensaries and growers. Another was Governor Schwarzenegger’s perfectly timed reducing of the “criminality” of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a infraction – thus taking some of the steam out of the movement.

    Marijuana reform had little way of affecting those two strategies. But the third one was entirely within our scope. That was the attack on the initiative by many (not all) dispensaries and growers.

    Although they hid their real motivation with the cloudy claim that “Prop 19 just isn’t good enough,” it’s clear they would be (and still are) against ANY form of legalization. They have no concern for their customers and have no problem with supporting their continued criminal status. All they care about is protecting their quasi-monopolies and outrageously high prices.

    We should have some kind of education component that would fortify California consumers against the deception practiced by these traitors that sell us out for 20 pieces of silver.

  43. Marijuana legalization still feels more like a cult subject than a leading prospect, despite the income it will allow. California will probably be the state that opens up the floodgates. We could use some people who have done research and can craft templates for this like politicians. You would think Cali has a conglomerate of groups that can get the job done.

  44. I am one of the authors of prop 215 and it was intentionally written very vaguely. We did not want a laundry list of exactly which conditions warranted being able to buy medical marijuana because future research could turn up new uses and if they were not spelled out then they would not be able to to fall under 215 without more legislation. We did not want an age limit since there are several under 21 kids that had inherited AIDS from their parents.

    In 94 and 95 the California legislature passed a medical marijuana bill and both times Governor Pete Wilson vetoed it. So when we decided to try a proposition I really don’t think anyone thought it stood a ghost of a chance on the first ballot. We had no money, no organization and no media coverage until the San Francisco club was busted in August of 96. We had no idea at the time that 215 would become the landmark prop it now is nor did we think it would start the ball rolling for total legalization.

    One thing I should point out. I have read many comments from the anti pot crowd that medical marijuana is just a cover for legalizing marijuana completely. My response to that is “Duh…” Yes every one of us involved wanted marijuana legalized. But at the time marijuana being legalized was only 25% popular in polls. Can you imagine the stupidity of someone at that point saying “Let’s legalize medical marijuana first then we will be able to legalize it completely.” Anyone saying that in 96 would have been locked up and committed.

  45. It will take something that will give us more rights than Prop 215 grants patients otherwise expect backlash if they push an initiative that is “over regulated and over taxed”.

  46. From some posts I’ve seen on other marijuana sites, it seems that some Californians act like they don’t need legalization, and the “all use medical” status quo is legalization enough.. Many Californians involved with MJ are mislead into thinking that just because their marijuana laws are very lenient, that there is no Drug War happening and they also think that nobody goes to jail for marijuana. Many of these folks seem to parrot Project Sam talking points without even knowing it. One example I see all the time is, “Decriminalize don’t legalize”. For my part, I will not visit California until there’s adult use legalization with safe access. It would break my heart to visit California seeing dispensaries knowing that I’m not welcome. At least I’m welcome in Colorado. Please legalize, California. You’ll be a better place for it. I want to express my deepest gratitude for the efforts of those in California that are truly trying to do the right thing and legalize especially in the face of this “all use medical/grey market” complacency. I admire your patience in those circumstances.

  47. Johnny,

    Tomatoes! Yeah. You left out the people from the Emerald Triangle who profit from Prohibition. Humboldt and Mendocino counties run on a prohibition economy.

    There also needs to be a grow your own provision (6 or 10 plants per adult) to keep prices tolerable.

  48. I agree in large part with what Mr. Saxe has to offer here, but I am curious what those common sense components might be.
    For instance, in Oregon the reform that was passed is nothing more than a keep the consumers, producers, sellers out of jail [which will save tax payers an inordinate amount of money in incarceration/litigation/and paper work costs] whilst simultaneously creating additional tax revenue, but the measure failed to address a serious issue which will be tested early and, unfortunately, often.
    Employers are still going to be able to test for usage and consequently fire employees based on a “failed” UI despite marijuana no longer being considered a controlled substance [sec 72 of measure 91]. This oversight basically states that marijuana does not deserve to be on the same footing as alcohol or even physician prescribed drugs which are controlled. Potential removal of a person’s livelihood is a huge deterrent for most that would prefer to partake, but simply can’t risk it.
    Should we fight for bills/measures that are inherently flawed simply to repeal historically failed policies? As I have dug deeper into the measure 91, I am not entirely certain that efforts shouldn’t be immediately put forth to rectify some of the glaring miscues this measure possesses.
    Would California be better off with a measure similar to 91 than the current status quo? Unequivocally the answer is yes, but I would urge caution when discussing a passable bill vs what the measure “should” contain.

  49. We need serious, respectable leaders who people will follow to get it done in California. Not politicians, save Gavin Newsome, or stoners who discredit the movement. In addition, I agree with a joint, comprehensive team to put forth common sense legislation that is easily acceptable to those who are on the fence. They are the difference makers. I guarantee that serious alcoholics did not get the prohibition of alcohol repealed in the 1933 and neither will senseless stoners get marijuana prohibition eliminated in 2016.
    First we get it passed then as time goes by we amend it as is appropriate. The primary task is to get it passed. The remaining dominos will fall as time goes by. Be cohesive, learn from what didn’t work and we will succeed.

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