Marijuana activists in California — many of whom thought that the Sunshine State would be first to legalize the drug — are looking to recently-passed ballot measures in Colorado and Washington state for inspiration, reported the San Jose Mercury News.
Californians rejected a legalization measure in 2010, Prop 19, due to a mixture of bad timing, low funding and vague plans for regulation. Now, activists are planning to get a new measure on the ballot in 2016, the next presidential election year, although they say that it could theoretically happen earlier, in 2014.
“This isn’t over until we say it’s over, and we won’t say it’s over until we win,” the chair of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, Dale Sky Jones, told the paper.
In Washington, for instance, the failed 2010 California measure helped activists there realize that a highly detailed state-level regulatory system would help their cause, as opposed to leaving those decisions to individual cities and towns, as Prop 19 did.
They also created a DUI measure for THC, to alleviate fears Californians had that people would drive under the influence of marijuana.
Scott Seaman, police chief in Los Gatos-Monte Sereno and president of the California Police Chiefs Association, believes that the federal ban will prevent those measures in Colorado and Washington from taking effect, which he argues would be ideal.
“I am deeply concerned for our youth, who could misinterpret legalization as permission for them to engage even more in consumption,” he told the paper.
[Image via AFP]