California voters could get chance to decide ‘open-source’ marijuana legalization initiative

By Travis Gettys
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 12:44 EDT
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A man lights a marijuana joint during a demonstration demanding a new law on cannabis in Montevideo, on May 8, 2013. (AFP)
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A ballot measure that could grant full marijuana legalization in California has been filed, and the language for the initiative was prepared online using a shared document.

Supporters of the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act of 2014 have asked the state initiative coordinator to give them permission to circulate a petition, and if they gather enough signatures, voters will have a chance to decide the measure next November.

The initiative’s sponsor said he created a website and email list and subscribed every marijuana activist he could find.

His group held a small conference in October 2012, where a one-page initial draft was presented, but since then it’s gone through hundreds of revisions and grown to 35 pages after someone posted the group’s Google document on Boing Boing.

Unfortunately, said sponsor Dave Hodges, some of those edits were less helpful than others, such as users playing around with fonts and colors or accidentally deleting the document.

But he was optimistic that the group would gather enough signatures and raise enough money to put the measure before voters.

If it’s approved, the initiative would grant “Californians the freedom to use, grow, transport and sell cannabis subject to reasonable regulation and taxation in a manner similar to alcohol.”

Cities would also be prohibited from banning medical marijuana dispensaries or severely restricting their numbers.

California was the first state to permit medical use of cannabis, in 1996, although a similar measure to broadly legalize marijuana was shot down by voters in 2010.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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