Legal Cannabis Initiative Woes Tweak Event for OC Progressives

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What would have been tonight's topic for the Potluck for Progressives at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Orange County really put the "pot" in Potluck for Progressives.

But a change in strategy for gaining voter approval of the California Cannabis Initiative, which is more formally known as the Tax, Regulate, & Control Cannabis Act of 2010, has changed the night and topic of the next Potluck for Progressives.
"Hello everybody, the Potluck for Progressives scheduled for Friday, November 13, 2009, dealing with the 'The Tax, Regulate, & Control Cannabis Act of 2010' has been *CANCELLED* at the request of the speaker," event coordinator Duane J. Roberts wrote in an email to fellow members earlier this week. "I have invited the speaker to come back to a future meeting of the Potluck for Progressives when they are ready to go forward with the revised version of this proposed initiative early next year."

Roberts directs the curious to CaliforniaCannabisInitiative.org, where Yes on California Cannabis Initiative's Tim Castleman provides a much-more sober message to his membership.

"A frank assessment of the current count of volunteer coordinators, circulators and signatures shows we are coming up short of the goals needed to put our initiative on the ballot," Castleman writes. "At this point it is time to pause and consider our options."

These include rewriting the initiative to include provisions that would make it appeal to advocates of medical marijuana and industrial hemp production. "We do have time to make these changes and this action not only improves our initiative but also provides more time to organize and raise funds," states Castleman, who includes a timeline that shows the California Cannabis Initiative would still make the Nov. 2, 2010, ballot.

The other options are to re-group with an aim at going before voters in 2012 or disbanding and allowing someone else to pick up the cause for legalization.

Castleman is certainly less upbeat about election prospects than the Oct. 28 New York Times story, "Push to Legalize Marijuana Gains Ground in California," which notes, "Even opponents of legalization suggest that an initiative is likely to qualify for a statewide vote."

As prospects for the California Cannabis Initiative are being sorted out, Orange County's progressive potluckin' goes on. Roberts reveals in his email that the next Potluck for Progressives is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 20, at the same Anaheim church. A representative from Colectivo Tonantzin will talk about "racist city ordinances" in Orange County that criminalize day laborers.

Pending any last-minute changes, but of course.
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