March 24th, 2010
01:35 PM ET

Advocates: Pot legalization headed to California ballot

California voters will be able to decide this fall whether their state will be the first in the nation to legalize the possession of marijuana for nonmedicinal uses if signatures seeking a ballot initiative are approved, advocates claimed Wednesday, saying they have the needed signatures for a ballot initiative.

The proposed ballot initiative legalizing adults' possession of up to one ounce of marijuana has collected almost 700,000 signatures, according to a statement from the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington-based organization.

Roughly 434,000 signatures are required to place an initiative on statewide ballot in California this year, the statement said. State election officials are expected to validate the signatures Wednesday, it said.

City and county governments would be allowed to imposed a sales tax under the proposed statute. They also would be allowed to establish local ordinances relating to distribution.

California first enacted a law allowing for the medicinal use of marijuana in 1996, according Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Steve Fox. Fourteen states now allow medical marijuana, he said.

–CNN's Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.

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  1. b

    Step up, and vote cali. It is going to take a while for people to wake up and figure out, leave us responsible smokers alone.Taxes will pay off are contries discover card.

    March 27, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Val

    You cannot overdose on it. It does not impair your judgment the way that alcohol does. It isn't addictive unless you want to say that wanting to smoke it because you like it makes you an addict (even though that logic makes all people who want to drink alcohol an alcoholic). It does NOT lead to harder drugs (that is pure myth). It does NOT incite aggression! It does not have to be processed or have anything added. I have never heard of anyone die of lung cancer due to pot smoking alone. It will allow otherwise law abiding citizens to be completely law abiding. It will free up the taxpayers from having their money wasted on prosecuting people for possession and will free up prison space for people who DESERVE to be there. It will allow cops who smoke to not be hypocrites when arresting citizens for having a pipe or pot and allow them to concentrate on real crimes. And last, but not least, it will put a lot of people who make a living solely by selling pot out of business and take a lot of incentive for the illegals to cross the border. Too many positives for some people, huh???

    March 28, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. S.P.H. Yerucham

    It is difficult for people who express irony or anything aside from black and white views on these opinion pages. I am very much for the legalization of marijuana in California. Yes, like many things or activities that are legal, there are risks. This is a great opportunity to use some of the large amounts of tax money gained from legalization to educate people in a sober manner (we have heard enough from the devil weed hysterics on one end and the pothead true believers who worship the stuff on the other). If marijuana is legalized in California, many will be watching; it would be a shame if we screwed it up. Just a FEW BASIC examples of what should be made common knowledge, particularly for teenagers: State of mind and environment when high. Dosage. Discussion on egoistic and delusional states. Discussion on excessive use. Marijuana will not make a non-artist or muscian one of the greats (it may help, but it takes talent and hard work). Cheeseburgers and Bugs Bunny may be transcendent when your'e high (it's all great when your high), but why not try sitting in a green meadow, eat a piece of fresh baked bread and read a few lines from Tagore?
    So please, potheads, let truth in all its details prevail, and then we can do this successfully. And yes, I stopped using the stuff nearly 20 years ago: drugs of any sort are a low level high next to what can be accomplished from years of meditation, prayer, a good diet, an ethical life and study. Yes, effort, self-control and hard work is the only way to truth. Nevertheless, it is in America's interest to legalize marijuana.

    March 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jaques meoff

    this will not pass..."If we lose in 2010, that will really take the wind out of our sails," said Gieringer. "The legislature won't have to take us seriously, and there won't be anything on the 2012 ballot because funders will get discouraged and pull out. When an initiative loses in California, the cause dies. We're on a really great track toward legalization now, but we need to develop this further, and that's going to take a few years. save Humboldt county do NOT legalize marijuana..

    March 29, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. Val

    Hey jaques, if it doesn't pass this time, they just need to keep putting it BACK ON THE BALLOT and in time the opposition will wear down. That's how the gays get things done cause IT WORKS. There is a huge CRIME against Americans by keeping it illegal. Decent people ROTTING in jail, for what??????????? Lock up all alcohol abusers for 20 years, THAT would more than balance the scale.

    March 29, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chicky

    let's get californians all doped up and they won't notice what is going on in their lives or state. That gives the people in power free range to rob and pillage. Good grief all of you dummies, look at history. Russia, Germany. Read history. You are falling for the biggest scam in the world. A doped up society is a society that does not fight back. Wake up.

    October 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. USMC Ret.

    I can see it now, some stoner working a crane in Long Beach kills somebody because he's high. His boss couldn't fire him without a lawsuit because THC will show up in a urinalysis for about a month. I was born and raised in Cali. When my mother bought our house in 1955 it came with a wood furnace befor she died she was told to remove it because it's illegal to heat your home with wood inside the city limits. Now if this law passes you can legally get high. I'm glad she isn't alive to see how her home has turned into the disgace that it is today.

    October 14, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
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