Bringing Citizens Together to End Cannabis Prohibition

5 things on legalizing marijuana California can learn from Ohio

Californians who want to legalize marijuana next year may see cautionary lessons in the way 64 percent of Ohio voters crushed a bid to legalize it there on Tuesday.

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Here Comes The Big One: ReformCA Files Its California Pot Legalization Initiative

The California Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, also known as ReformCA, has filed a draft marijuana legalization initiative initiative with state officials, the group announced Sunday. The long-anticipated move means the campaign best-placed to bring legalization to the Golden State can finally get underway.

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ReformCA sits down for news interviews

Dale Sky Jones, chairwoman of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, ReformCA's parent organization, sat down for interviews with news media over the weekend. The interviews covered the Blue Ribbon Commission Report and ReformCA's plans to legalize cannabis in California.

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Our take on the Blue Ribbon Commission Report

You may have seen news about the release of the Blue Ribbon Commission Report. The report is a result of an extensive effort led by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom to look into the various issues involved with legalizing adult-use cannabis in California and make recommendations for how those issues should be addressed in a legalization initiative. 

We believe the report is a very thoughtful and timely analysis. The report's recommendations are very much in line with our views. You can read the entire report here, but SF Gate does a nice job of breaking down the key findings.

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Filing an initiative to legalize cannabis in California

In the coming weeks, ReformCA will file an initiative to legalize cannabis in California.

We've also retained a leading signature gathering firm, so that once we file, we can begin to collect signatures and qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

I know many of you are eager to review the details of the initiative — as you should be since you helped craft it — so we'll send you a link to the full text.

For the past two years, ReformCA has worked to build consensus across the state for what this initiative should look like and lay the groundwork for an eventual campaign. This includes fifteen in-person meetings throughout the state where the grassroots could weigh in on important matters as well as extensive consultation with other organizations and policy makers.

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New poll: majority favor legalization

A survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found a majority of Californians are ready for a new approach to cannabis.

In fact, 56 percent of likely voters favor legalization, while just 41 percent are opposed -- figures that bode well for legalization efforts in 2016.

It's not all good news, however. Our movement still has a lot of work to build support in all communities across the state: 

A majority of whites (60%) favor legalization, while a similar proportion of Latinos (60%) oppose it. Across age groups, Californians age 18 to 34 (62%) are more likely to favor legalization than are older residents (51% age 35 to 54, 49% age 55 and older). Just under half of Californians (46%) say that if marijuana were legal, they would be very concerned that more underage people would be led to try it (18% somewhat concerned). Latinos (63%) are far more likely than whites (37%) to say they are very concerned.

You can read more about the poll here.

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Update

Over the past few months, the ReformCA team has traveled across the state -- from San Diego to Redding -- to listen to your thoughts on what legalization should look like in California. These Legalization Roundtables have helped to clarify the important issues at stake, and build consensus in our movement as we make progress towards an initiative that can garner the support and resources needed to qualify and win on the November 2016 ballot.

We're not done listening. With Roundtables coming up in Santa Cruz, Sacramento and the Bay Area over the next month, we hope to hear from even more of you.

I'm asked all the time where ReformCA stands on these issues. The truth is that the Legalization Roundtables are our way of developing those positions, because we believe strongly that collaboration and discussion are crucial to the success of a statewide initiative.

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LA Times editorial board praises ReformCA

The LA Times posted an editorial today calling on our movement to put forward a proposition that is, "comprehensive, well-thought-out proposal that addresses the complex legal, societal and safety issues involved."

The editorial went on to praise our efforts to bring the movement together to shape such an initiative:

To its credit, the most organized and well-funded group, ReformCA, has spent more than a year talking to both the medical marijuana industry and regulators about what a responsible ballot measure should include.

We've organized Legalization Roundtables in every part of the state, hosted a survey on our website and held countless conversations to solicit input on an initiative. The conversation will continue, and we encourage you to add your voice if you haven't already. Check our calendar for upcoming Roundtables, take our survey or just shoot us an email with your thoughts.

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New poll: record support for legalization in California

A new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) finds 55 percent of likely voters in the state support cannabis legalization. The Associated Press has more:

Pollsters said support for legalizing marijuana among all adults is at its highest point since the survey began asking the question in May 2010. According to the poll, younger residents, those ages 18 to 34, are more likely than older adults to say marijuana use should be legal. Adults without children are likely to favor legalization, while most parents with kids are opposed. Among racial groups, blacks most strongly favored legalization, at 69 percent, while Asians were hesitant, with more than half opposing legalization.

You can read the full results on PPIC's website.

A PPIC survey in September 2013 found that 52 percent of the state’s residents support legalizing cannabis.

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Congress: Melinda Haag not "acting within the spirit or the letter of the law"

220px-Melinda_Haag_US_Attorney.jpgU.S. Attorney Melinda Haag's bizarre pursuit of Bay Area medical marijuana providers has caught the attention of Congress.

In a letter to her bosses at the Department of Justice (DOJ), members of Congress said they believe Haag's actions are "not acting within the spirit or the letter of the law" and that the DOJ has "overstepped its bounds."

The letter was signed by U.S. Representatives Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and Sam Farr (D-Monterey).

"It's clear now that Melinda Haag is the real criminal," said Steve DeAngelo, the founder of Harborside Health Center, one of the providers targeted by Haag.

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