Things were looking up for California’s attempt to legalize recreational marijuana sales in 2016, all up until major backers decided to part ways.
ReformCA released its language for the ballot earlier this month and it seemed to be this would be the initiative that everyone can get behind. It took longer than expected to get the language written and reviewed due to the new regulations being put in place for the pre-existing medical marijuana industry.
Once they were sure that their wording was sufficient and that none of the new laws were broken it was submitted for approval. Now they are in the signature gathering phase, if enough valid signatures are collected, ReformCA will be on the ballots come November 2016.
Unfortunately, since they submitted their draft they have also lost a couple of their biggest supporters. Three logos – those of California NORML, the Drug Policy Alliance and Marijuana Policy Project – have all been removed from the ReformCA website.
Both NORML and the Drug Policy Alliance went their separate ways with what appears to be intent to write up a completely separate initiative.
“We want to have a plan B option that’s ready to go in case [another] initiative doesn’t represent and uphold the values and principles,” the DPA’s California Director Lynne Lyman said, “We’re most concerned about a case where it doesn’t move forward.”
On top of these two potential proposals there is a word of a third big supporter considering writing up an initiative. Sean Parker, a billionaire from Silicon Valley. He alone could probably draft and back his own initiative without ever needing other sponsors – however if his proposal goes through, he would surly have others reaching out with a helping hand.
While it is great to see so many people that are so passionate about getting marijuana legalized on a recreational level is awesome – but too many initiatives could put the entire operation it risk! With initiatives that contradict one another on how the plant should be regulated, it leaves a lot of room for the media to twist words around.
Aside from that, if more than one of these proposals makes it to the ballot, they have a much lower chance at passing as many voters will side with one or another. With California’s support just bordering over 50% as of late, it would be a much better bet if there was only one initiative to choose.
While it is guaranteed that more proposals will be coming out in the next couple of weeks, it really comes down to the big backers and hoping they can all decide on one campaign to support. Ideally, if everyone were to choose one campaign, that campaign would have a much better chance at passing and making California the next state to completely reform marijuana laws.