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.