Pubdate: Tue, 03 Nov 2015
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2015 Los Angeles Times
Author: Patrick McGreevy


Former Facebook President Plans to Spend Millions on Legalization Effort.

SACRAMENTO - A coalition that includes former Facebook President Sean 
Parker on Monday proposed an initiative that would legalize the 
recreational use of marijuana in California and place a 15% tax on 
retail sales of the drug.

Parker, a billionaire who also co-founded the file-sharing service 
Napster, plans to put millions of dollars behind the proposal, 
intended for the November 2016 ballot, according to those in the coalition.

"It's very encouraging to see a vibrant community of activists ... 
coming together around a sensible reform-based measure that protects 
children, gives law enforcement additional resources and establishes 
a strong regulatory framework for responsible adult use of marijuana 
- - one that will yield economic benefits for all Californians," Parker 
said in a statement.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom endorsed the proposal, calling it a "thoughtful 
measure" that aligns with the recommendations of a blue-ribbon 
commission he created to study the legalization issue.

Others endorsing the initiative drive include the Marijuana Policy 
Project, Drug Policy Alliance and the California Cannabis Industry Assn.

The measure would allow adults to possess, transport and use as much 
as an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes and would allow 
individuals to grow as many as six plants. Use of marijuana in public 
and while driving would remain illegal.

The measure would also rename the state Bureau of Medical Marijuana 
Regulation as the Bureau of Marijuana Control.

"California has long been at the forefront of economic innovation and 
legal reform," said Nate Bradley, executive director of the 
California Cannabis Industry Assn.

Bradley said the involvement of Parker and other wealthy supporters, 
including WeedMaps app founder Justin Hartfield, would help ensure a 
robust campaign for the measure if it makes the ballot. In 2010, 
California voters rejected legalization of recreational marijuana use.

The Legislature's recent approval of regulations for medical 
marijuana, legalized in 1996, might also give momentum to the new 
proposal, proponents say.

The official proponents of the measure are Michael Sutton, an 
environmental attorney, and Dr. Donald O. Lyman, a member of the 
California Medical Assn.

"The physician community and the people of California in general have 
increasingly voiced support for ending marijuana prohibition and 
bringing greater control, oversight and consumer protections to our 
marijuana policies," Lyman said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom