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article imageLegal pot? California voters could face two initiatives in 2016

By Nathan Salant     Oct 1, 2015 in Lifestyle
Oakland - Marijuana users and supporters in California could get the opportunity to legalize using their drug of choice in November if a planned voter initiative to accomplish that makes it to the ballot.
The Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform says its proposal to legalize recreational use of marijuana will be ready to submit for approval to the California Attorney General's Office this week and could be placed on the 2016 ballot.
Dale Gieringer of California NORML, part of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, says its proposal to regulate sales of marijuana like alcohol would be filed within days and would hopefully be able to generate reaction and suggestions in time for a final draft to go before voters next year.
Gieringer said his Oakland-based group had been waiting for California legislators to pass a series of bills to set up the regulatory process, which happened last month.
California Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the legislation, according to the LA Weekly alternative newspaper.
"This has taken longer than we wanted," Gieringer told LA Weekly.
It's also taken long enough for another marijuana legalization initiative--- the Marijuana Control, Legalization & Revenue Act -- to already qualify for the November 2016 ballot, the newspaper said.
Backers of the Marijuana Control, Legalization & Revenue Act, which would not require recreational pot dispensaries to obtain permits, have already gotten its language approved by state officials.
"It would provide another path for the legal adult-use market," said Dave Hodges of the All American Cannabis Club in San Jose.
But it also requires a lot of money to bankroll signature gatherers for the initiative and to mount a credible public campaign for the general election.
How the San Jose cannabis club plans to fund its campaign is not known, but the coalition's initiative already is backed by NORML, the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project, and is said to have donors lined up to provide funding, LA Weekly said.
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