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Monday, July 25, 2011

Petition Drive to Legalize Marijuana Approved

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 5:55 PM

When are we going to stop toking ballot initiatives?
  • When are we going to stop toking ballot initiatives?

Pot advocates are taking another stab at legalization with a proposed measure that would dictate pot growers be regulated in the same way as microbrewers and vintners. Home growers would be be left alone, sales would be taxed, and nobody would be charged criminally for possession under the proposed law.


The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012 has been certified, which means that backers can begin gathering the more than half-million signatures they'd need to put it before voters.

The wine and beer angle adds a new twist to the pitch given by marijuana merchants who backed the the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, which promised a bonanza for government if only tax collectors could skim marijuana profits.

According to the measure's official language:

 

The regulation of marijuana will benefit the People of the State of

California by reducing criminal gang activity, promoting agriculture,

creating jobs by creating a new hemp industry in the State of California,

and reduce the fiscal and overpopulation burdens on the Department of

Corrections and Rehabilitation.

This time around, backers plan to also pitch the idea that pot is like beer and wine. They seem to be saying that, since marijuana, like beer and wine, makes you dizzy, it should therefore should be regulated by the same agencies.

Under the proposal pot sales would be overseen by the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and the California Health and Safety Code would be modified so as not to outlaw marijuana. Like it's 2010 predecessor, the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act seems to propose a federal-state jurisdictional quagmire. Federal law prohibits marijuana sales, but the proposed ballot measure aims to solve this problem by making it illegal to follow or abide by federal anti-marijuana laws.

Regardless of jurisdictional arguments, all state, local, elected,

appointed, hired employees, officers, and officials shall refuse to and shall

not cooperate with or assist federal, state, or local officials or employees

who would eradicate marijuana, act for seizure or forfeiture, or defeat any

liberally construed purpose of this Act, or to operate under any contract or

arrangement to repeal or circumvent this Act directly or indirectly, or to

follow or to abide by any federal laws or regulations that are in conflict with

this Act. 

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Matt Smith

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