Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pot Backers' Ballot Effort in Disarray in California

Well, no surprise there.

Roll one, smoke one, bro.

At Los Angeles Times, "Effort to put marijuana legalization measure on ballot is in disarray":
Just weeks before the deadline for state ballot initiatives, the effort to put a marijuana legalization measure before voters in the general election is in disarray as the federal government cracks down on medical cannabis and activists are divided on their goals.

After Proposition 19 received 46% of the vote in 2010, proponents took heart at the near-miss. They held meetings in Berkeley and Los Angeles and vowed to put a well-funded measure to fully legalize marijuana on the 2012 ballot, when the presidential election would presumably draw more young voters.

Instead, five different camps filed paperwork in Sacramento for five separate initiatives. One has given up already and the other four are teetering, vying for last-minute funding from a handful of potential donors.

Backers need more than $2 million to hire professional petitioners to get the 700,000-plus signatures they say they need by April 20 to qualify for the ballot. But they are getting little financial support from medical marijuana dispensaries that have profited from laws that pot activists brought forth in earlier years.

Certainly, some dispensaries cannot help because they are paying large legal bills to fend off the federal government. But like growers, dispensary operators know that broader legalization could lower prices and bring more competitors into their business.

Of the four possible initiatives, the one apparently with the most vocal support within the movement is the Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act, written by defense attorneys who specialize in marijuana cases. The measure would repeal state criminal statutes on marijuana possession, except those for driving while impaired or selling to minors. The state Department of Health would have 180 days to enact regulations before commercial sales became legal.

Pot dispensaries don't want to legalize it, since they've got the monopoly on the wild and free demographic. Hey man, be cool, ya'll.