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California voters get chance to fully legalize marijuana

legalize marijuana

legalize marijuana

 

A measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California appears headed for the Nov. 8 ballot.

A coalition that includes former Facebook President Sean Parker on Tuesday said it has collected 600,000 signatures, more than enough to qualify the initiative.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and other supporters of the measure to legalize marijuana plan to kick off a campaign for voter approval of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act on Wednesday in San Francisco.

The measure would allow adults ages 21 and older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes and would allow individuals to grow as many as six plants.

“This November, California voters will finally have the opportunity to pass smart marijuana policy that is built on the best practices of other states, includes the strictest child protections in the nation and pays for itself while raising billions for the state,” Newsom said in a statement.

The coalition, which includes some law enforcement and civil rights leaders, needed to collect 365,880 signatures of registered voters to qualify the initiative to legalize marijuana, which would also place a 15% tax on retail sales of the drug.

The use of marijuana in public and while driving would remain illegal. Parker, a billionaire who also co-founded the file-sharing service Napster, donated more than $1 million to the campaign to collect signatures and qualify the initiative.

If elections officials verify that the signatures turned in Wednesday are sufficient and voters approve the initiative, California would join Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon as states that allow recreational use of marijuana.

Opposition is already organizing behind groups such as Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana, which formed to defeat a 2010 legalization initiative that was rejected by 53% of voters.

California voters are expected to legalize marijuana this time around.

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