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Legal Weed Backers in the Golden State Get the Go-Ahead

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has given pro-legalization activists the green light to collect signatures for a new ballot measure.

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By Shawn Dwyer

12/26/13

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Since Proposition 19 was defeated in the November 2010 election, the push for legal recreational weed in California has intensified. And with CA voters now favoring legalized pot, advocates are chomping at the bit for getting a new measure on the ballot.

The first hurdle toward such a measure was cleared when California’s Secretary of State Debra Bowen officially granted her permission for pro-marijuana advocates to collect signatures for an initiative to be voted on in November 2014. According to an analysis by the Legislative Analyst’s Office and the state’s Department of Finance, the proposed initiative could result in a drastic reduction in costs to the tune of several hundreds of millions of dollars in what state and local governments spend on marijuana-related enforcement. The analysis also found that the state could reap in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually in new tax revenues.

Also included in the new measure would be the creation of a commission to regulate new businesses and provided licenses for growing, sales, and distribution of the product. The initiative also proposes a sales tax – with exemptions for medical or dietary use – that would be allocated for education, health care, law enforcement, and drug abuse education and treatment.

Backers of the measure need to collect 504,760 valid signatures from registered voters by May 23rd.

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