Pubdate: Tue, 03 Nov 2015
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 2015 Associated Press
Note: Seldom prints LTEs from outside it's circulation area.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The push to put California among the states 
where marijuana can be sold to and legally used by adults for 
recreation took a major step forward on Monday as ballot language 
backed by Napster co-founder Sean Parker, other wealthy entrepreneurs 
who support pot legalization and leading advocacy groups was filed 
with the state.

The proposed legalization initiative is one of more than a dozen that 
has been submitted in California for the November 2016 election. 
Because of the deep pockets, political connections and professional 
credibility of its supporters, however, observers think the so-called 
Adult Use of Marijuana Act is the vehicle with the greatest chance of success.

"We believe this effort has the support and resources to mount a 
successful campaign for responsible adult-use," California Cannabis 
Industry Association Executive Director Nate Bradley, whose 
organization is endorsing the measure, said.

"This is the one to watch. This is the one," Bradley added.

The measure would allow adults 21 and older to buy an ounce of 
marijuana and marijuana-infused products at licensed retail outlets 
and also to grow up to six pot plants for personal recreational use.

Both the new recreational market and the state's existing medical 
marijuana industry would be regulated through the California 
Department of Consumer Affairs and authorize the state to impose the 
same 15 percent excise tax on both medical and recreational marijuana.

Four people who worked on the initiative independently told The 
Associated Press that the drafting process and early work to enlist 
sponsors and build a campaign team was spearheaded by Parker, the 
billionaire technology investor who upended the music business as a 
teenager by co-founding the file sharing site Napster and served as 
Facebook's first president.

Those people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to 
discuss Parker's involvement or to name the other wealthy 
entrepreneurs expected to fund the effort until an official campaign 
committee starts raising money and becomes subject to state disclosure laws.

The Parker-backed initiative also has lined up support from the Drug 
Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project, two leading 
marijuana reform advocacy groups that led the earlier campaigns to 
pass pot legalization measures in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

"This is the most incredibly broad coalition that could have been 
brought together, everything from the drug policy reform movement to 
the environmental movement to the industry actors to the medical 
field, as well as the lineup of all of the most likely funders for 
something like this," said Lynne Lyman, California director for the 
Drug Policy Alliance.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom