Marijuana Legalization Officially Qualifies for California Ballot

It’s official. Tax Cannabis 2010, the most far-reaching state effort ever, would legalize the consumption of cannabis for all adult over 21 — and would finally take the industry that serves those consumers out of a legal gray area — will qualify for the November mid-term ballot later today.

The Tax Cannabis campaign gathered just under 700,000 signatures, well over the 434,000 needed to qualify for the ballot.

For background on the initiative, read my extensive analysis of the campaign, spearheaded by Richard Lee, the pot entrepreneur behind Oaksterdam University in Oakland.

From that article, here’s a primer on what this measure would change, if it were to pass:

The measure does not actually legalize pot as much as it absolutely decriminalizes certain marijuana offenses. (Marijuana has been “decriminalized” in California since 1975, but it still can generate a fine, an arrest and a misdemeanor charge on your record.) Tax Cannabis institutes a one-ounce personal possession limit and allows for limited personal cultivation.

Interestingly, the ballot initiative refers to local control, meaning that cities and counties can decide whether to allow regulated marijuana sales at all, and if so, how that would work. Tax Cannabis allows for the personal consumption, possession and cultivation of cannabis by any adult over 21 throughout the state, but the business of it would be left to local jurisdictions. (A few people suggested Lee was inspired by his home state of Texas’dry-county, wet-county policy regarding alcohol sales.)

Polling shows that a growing number of people here in California think legalization is the right solution to this particular segment of the drug war. A poll in April showed 56 percent support for legalization. And Tax Cannabis’ internal polling in March found 44 percent support among likely California voters in non-presidential elections. This was followed by an August internal poll that found 52 percent support by likely November 2010 voters.

These slim majorities are not ideal, but that’s why Tax Cannabis is focused on a public-education campaign, and will be targeting their message to fit the different concerns and needs of all kinds of voters across the state.

I still stand behind what I wrote back in January: This is the best chance for marijuana legalization on a state-level yet.

– Article from Alternet.



  1. Anonymous on

    We have less than five months to vote and make TaxCann2010 a law and reality.
    many, many people already are making plans to come celebrate with us, from every corner of the country, there will not be a shortage of good non toxic all natural, safer than H2O, herb. Be here to count the votes and may I suggest you get a smoking room. we have to stop the madness, it is insane that the feds and local authorities are still going after law abiding medical cannabis patients, and local officials, closing dispensaries.

  2. Anonymous on

    so would washington and all those other presidents…they all smoked too. modern times has brought marijuana down. its not them…its the others…

  3. Anonymous on

    so i’m thinking this is the right way….not legalization, but decriminalization… this is so awesome. Now all the cops can go shove it…at least this makes it a little more safer for us now… yay!

  4. Anonymous on

    It doesn’t matter what the feds want we have 10th amendment. Anything not decided in the constitution for the feds to be in charge of they aren’t. It’s left to the people and the states. If they come in to California then the local sheriff will just have to tell them if they don’t leave they will be arrested for kidnapping and robbery.

  5. Samson on

    Thomas Jefferson……would be proud

  6. Anonymous on

    At least that will be a step towards freedom for people , especially people who want to grow there own personal ( which is pretty much everyone able that smokes). The main reason people are opposed to the change is because they make money by taking advantage of prohibition in one way or another.

  7. Anonymous on

    It may not completely legalize it, but if passed it would be the best and least restrictive cannabis law in the United States. There’s no reason to complain because we’ve been waiting for a change like this for over 70 years, even longer in some states. This could start a land mark shift in marijuana policy across the world.

    Only problem is, what county is going to allow marijuana sales with a federal law that over rides state law? The feds have made it very clear that they will not support this, and unfortunately, the DEA will probably start making busts all over the state. They may even make the police in Cali enforce federal law on everyone but the medical patients (although the decriminalization law currently in effect may make that impossible.) If no county authorizes sales, then what exactly is going to change?

    I wish they would just back off and let states make their own decisions. Lets just hope this passes and they find it too overwhelming to chase down every recreational user and commercial/personal grower.

    Our time is now, it’s only a matter of time before the first state controls, regulates and taxes marijuana, and other states are surely to follow suit.

  8. Brian Kerr on

    Let see.

    You can grow your own – with a plot of 25 squar ft. *Legally*

    You can purchase cannabis in a store, *legally*

    You can have one ounce on you anywhere in California, *Legally*

    and the medicinal patients still have all their legal rights to cannabis in the amounts they can grow and possess.

    Seems pretty legal to me.

    Sure it is still not legal federally but who cares ?

    I just might want to visit California next year. Much closer than Holland.

    Go California !

  9. Anonymous on

    Hopefully everyone reads and registers the ever-so-important first seven words from the Richard Lee quote above…”The measure does not actually legalize pot…” If you’re from California and are going to vote in November, be careful how you vote for Tax Cannabis 2010. This is hardly legalization.

  10. Anonymous on

    Cant wait till November, Good luck putting Emery in jail in California for seeds when its legal there!!

  11. Anonymous on

    Yes! Finally..I don’t even live in Cali and I’m so excited for you guys!Take that Mr.Obama,maybe next time you’ll think before you laugh at the cannabis community.