Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Initiative Gathers 20,000 Signatures

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The last few months of 2011 weren't exactly fun for advocates of medical marijuana in California. The federal government threatened to seize properties being used for illegally cultivating or dispensing marijuana, media organizations including this one were put on alert that they could be prosecuted for running ads for dispensaries, and a confusing court case from Long Beach seemed to provide cities with a convenient rationale for banning storefront pot shops.

But the news wasn't all bad--apparently, the fourth quarter of last year  saw a major boost for the so-called Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Initiative, which is slated for this November's ballot and if passed, would effectively legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults.

Specifically, according to the campaign's organizers, they raised $100,000 and collected 20,000 signatures last fall. The ballot initiative's backers have set up seven campaign headquarters up and down the state, and are planning major outreach efforts this year. Notable supporters range from the predictable--Tommy Chong and Stephen DeAngelo, CEO of Oakland's Harborside Health Center mega-dispensary and star of the Discovery Channel's new medical marijuana-themed reality show Weed Wars--to libertarians like Jim Gray, the former Orange County Superior Court judge, U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and California State Assemblyman Chris Norby R-Fullerton).

Meanwhile, polls conducted by the group estimate that 62 percent of Americans favor treating marijuana like California's other famous export--wine. Now there's an idea on how to revitalize California's economy: turn marijuana into the state's number one legal--and therefore taxable--cash crop. Given the fact that the Netherlands, the world's current top destination for cannabis tourists around the world--plans to ban non-Dutch citizens from having access to marijuana in January 2013, the timing seems ideal for passing that distinction on to the Golden State.

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27 comments
DeeperDish
DeeperDish

I would love to see the initiative succeed but I'm very skeptical the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine campaign has the tactical ground game of petitioners and volunteers to achieve the signature threshold. They need 800,000 signatures (to ensure validation) within a span of 150 days, according to one news report, which would be around 5,000 signatures every day, and so far they only have the equivalent of four days. This large infusion of funding may turn things around, but the clock is ticking.

Meanwhile, Colorado and Washington state both have legalization initiatives which have submitted enough signatures for validation. The Colorado initiative is better than Washington's, and it polls better. And funny enough, Colorado's initiative is Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

mitch young
mitch young

So let me get this straight. The anti-'Dream Act' people, with little money and no celebrity endorsers, gather 425,000+ signatures and that is an 'Epic Fail' , while stoners gather about 1/20th of that, with the predictable backing of celebrities, and that is cause for rejoicing. 

macdoodle
macdoodle

Which is it supporting -Medical MJ- for those who use it for specific health conditions with testing and controlled/prescribed dosages  like other meds?or Recreational - where all heavy users will  get the  same substance abuser status as  alcoholics and methheads in medical care ?

cal canna labs
cal canna labs

If you regulate it like wine or alcohol there needs to be a quality control process in place. Test and measure it just like you would any other medicine: www.weedpotency.com

Coinspinner
Coinspinner

C'mon California, seize your rightful place as the true home of freedom.

Guy Christopher
Guy Christopher

my son is currently in a state prison in Salem, doing time, for growing 35 marijuana plants, without a license to doso.??    How many prisoners are in with him, for marijuana offenses.  I think it is hilarious; very obvious that the prison system, needs prisoners.  It is big business here, with thousands of jobs.  My son is very dangerous; he has smoked marijuana also; and I guess, the state considers this a very dangerous thing to do.  I smoke it; with a medical license to do so; sure glad...I'd hate to have to share the same cell with my dangerous pot smoking son, who didnt have a license. 

TDKS FBT
TDKS FBT

I say if you don't take it around kids, in public, or near me, I don't give a damn. Just go to the nearest marijuana bar and get hit up on the stuff if you want to.

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

Marijuana is the safest drug with actual benefits for theuser as opposed to alcohol which is dangerous, causes addiction, birth defects,and affects literally every organ in the body. Groups are organizing all over the country to speak their minds onreforming pot laws.  I drew up a verycool poster featuring Uncle Willie Nelson and The Teapot Party for the causewhich you can check out on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...  Drop in and let me know what you think!

mpschwartz
mpschwartz

It’s been a pleasure reading this story. It’s hard to findgreat articles to read today so it’s nice to find good content to read.  Thank you!

Webmaster of Waste King 8000

ghendric
ghendric

Marijuana only became illegal when the logging industry was getting put out of business by the textiles industry so a briber...er.. um... lobbyist went to Washington to bribe...um, I mean, lobby some congressmen to create some laws that would make sure the logging industry would survive so they(2 people) came up with the idea that "pot" made you go crazy.. actually, in all truth, it makes you relaxed, hungry and sometimes horny.. I know this for a fact.. However; like all herbs, you shouldn't over do it. Herbs should be respected for their healing properties as marijuana has healing properties and many uses for other things. 

Briansays
Briansays

if you seriously want to legalize it only for genuine medical need and not as is obvious use medical need as a means of backdoor recreational use then legalize it only to be sold by the state/local government not private biz

also allowing local government to do this could help with their budgets

Partnerus_Retardicus
Partnerus_Retardicus

So many incredibly STUPID people wasting their time once again.Until marijuana is removed from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act of 1972, it will remain illegal in all 50 states.  Jesus f'ing Christ, did NONE OF YOU attend 10th grade civics class?

hengdoo
hengdoo

Wel that certianly makes a whole lot of sense lol. www.Total-Privacy dot US

Joey Rush
Joey Rush

Gee, only 680,000 more signatures and were on the ballot.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

California isn't interested in creating new jobs.  They need Californians to fill their prisons. 

Steve F.
Steve F.

I cannot agree with you more. I don't smoke cigarettes but does that mean I think it should be illegal? No. Just do it in private.  

Cannabis Seeds
Cannabis Seeds

I agree, to place cannabis at the same level, would almost be an insult to the plant. There was a drug tzar / scientist in the UK who said that if you graded the schedule laws based on the potential damage to the user, then Alcohol and Tobacco would top the list. 

Djjustinf
Djjustinf

I suppose you don't know how the prohibition of alcohol was finally repealed.  Individual states refused to enforce the nonsensical law, which finally forced the federal government to repeal the law.

pfroehlich2004
pfroehlich2004

No, genius. It will be legal under California law but illegal under federal law, just as medical marijuana has been since 1996.

As you may have noticed, the federal prohibition on medical marijuana has not prevented a burgeoning medical marijuana industry from taking root in the Golden State. The feds can launch raids and send threatening letters, but the fact is they lack the resources to shut down more than a fraction of state-sanctioned marijuana businesses.

California has approximately 100,000 state and local law enforcement personnel. The DEA has a grand total of 5,000 agents to police the ENTIRE WORLD. Can you guess what happens when California law enforcement pulls out of the marijuana prohibition game?

Reverend Ryan
Reverend Ryan

Now what would we get if we took cannabis out of schedule 1?  Probably rescheduled cannabis, in to a schedule lower than schedule 1. 

If cannabis gets rescheduled, big pharma, the DEA, and the prohibitionists win.  We lose.

http://xcannabis.com/2011/07/t...

Malmolevine
Malmolevine

215 released a small genie out of a bottle - even though cannabis remained illegal federally, the State of California would no longer join in the battle against sick pot users. RMWL releases a much larger genie out of a bottle - the State of California will not only stop going after all adult users, growers and dealers, it will use it's own cash to fight the feds and re-schedule cannabis:

"

(f) Within 30 days of passage of this Act, the offices of both the state Attorney General and the Department of Public Health shall inform the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Attorney General, Congress, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Food and Drug Administration that in 1996 the state of California recognized the current medical use of marijuana in treatment in the United States, and since 1996 has approved a state-regulated physician medical marijuana practice. Physicians have recommended the use of marijuana to thousands of patients. For that reason diligently demand or petition as is appropriate (see 21 CFR 1308.43, 21 USC 811-812) that marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols as defined in §21 USC 802(16) be removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 USC 800 et seq., where it is currently listed as an addictive drug with no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

 

(g) The State of California is ordered to protect and defend all provisions of this Act from any and all challenges or litigation, whether by persons, officials, cities, counties, the state or federal governments."

http://regulatemarijuanalikewi...

You should probably have read the initiative before commenting. There's no reason not to attempt to do this, given the relative success of 215 to get people to see cannabis differently.

cook
cook

They be stoned on pot and not understand they be rubes

msbpodcast
msbpodcast

Never happen, (and not just because it makes sense to buy pot the same place you buy booze and for the same purposes too.)

"They need Californians to fill their prisons" where they make you work for peanuts a day pretending to be an Indian call center employee...

Slavery is what its REALLY called...

They beat your [expletive deleted] if you don't fill the quotas. They have guards to keep you chained to your desk, literally, with real chains and all.

They're not going to give up the income opportunity to recruit from the usually non-violent pot smoking population, most of which are young college educated kids who are scared shitless of the general prison population.

Plus its a of of fun for them to beat you down or to get the screws to "put you in your place" if they get a complaint about you. You get real "incentivized" then...

cook
cook

Well, then the state asks the fed's to change the law, great.But what do you do if the fed's say "NO"?Go cry in your milk?

msbpodcast
msbpodcast

I'd like to end this stupid wasteful war on drugs, but that would empty the prisons of docile (scared) pot smokers and I don't see the system letting go of free coolie labor.

Aaron Barnes
Aaron Barnes

local cops hate feds anyway, and do you really think there enough feds to go door to door looking for pot? No is the correct answer. if california makes marijuana legal sure a few might get busted by the feds, but they wil be so busy doing that. Whos going to look after the country then? California is just one of the states on the front line fighting for all of us. it dosent matter if you smoke or not. its about freedom, your human right, your rights as an american to life liberty and the pursuit of happyness . dont just look at it from one point of view, but from many. the goverment was put in place to run the country, not your life. if the feds came into your house and said you cant drink water because it has no medical purpose. would you just roll over and say ok? think about it. ...............

msbpodcast
msbpodcast

You give them no information, no support, no jail cells, no legal support and mostly "no money" for busting pot smokers. 

That line item on their spread sheets goes unfunded, it goes unenforced.

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