According to email reports out of California, the Tax and Regulate Cannabis Initiative has officially qualified for the November ballot in California (click here). As of yesterday at 3:51 PM, the initiative had 418,594 of the required 433,971 valid signatures. With another 140,000+ thousand turned in today by Los Angeles County, I think it is safe to believe the reports that the goal line has been reached in regards to ballot access. Now the real fight begins. Here is an excerpt from a story I did on Feb 2nd when the first signatures were turned in:
“How many marijuana consumers consistently vote?? Be honest! I have never seen a valid statistic, but I’m sure the numbers are very disappointing. I can picture readers saying to themselves ‘if weed was involved, I would be way more likely to get involved in the political process.’ This is the fourth attempt at marijuana legalization in California this year alone, where were you guys on the last three attempts??? This isn’t anything new, EVERY year citizens try to get legalization in EVERY state. Some states gather minimal signatures, some get 700,000. Every state has more than enough marijuana consumers to get it passed, but it never happens because this demographic is not politically active. My point is this; if you think that marijuana fans alone are enough to win this thing, you will be very disappointed when November rolls around.
Victory seems even more uncertain when you look at the data. A Poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times last April found that 56% of voters in the state want to make pot legal and tax it. I’m sure before you guys read that, you were certain the number was probably 80% or higher. Now consider the fact that no negative campaign attack ads have been seen yet. I have over 100 upper level political science college credits. If there’s one thing that I retained from my poly sci classes, it’s that NEGATIVE ADS WORK. These ads don’t have to tell the truth, they don’t have to follow logical reasoning, their goal is to literally brainwash potential voters into voting for whoever spent the most money.
There is going to be A LOT of opposition to this initiative, and the enemy list is a ‘who’s who’ of wealthy political activists. Starbucks funds anti marijuana groups, as does everyone in the alcohol and tobacco industry, in addition to law enforcement, the Mormon church, other churches, parent groups, teacher associations, health and auto insurance companies, etc. There will even be opposition from within the marijuana community. Richard Lee has forked over 1 million dollars to support this initiative, but will other dispensary owners do the same?
If marijuana were legal, and you could grow it yourself, how would that benefit lower and mid-level dispensary owners that are reaping the benefits of a medical marijuana system that would disappear once legalization happened? Obviously, it would put them out of business. Richard Lee has made millions and millions of dollars and could easily adapt his business model to keep the funds flowing, but other dispensary owners would see this as a threat to their lively hoods, and will fight it on the down low. All of these separate groups will band together and pay whatever it takes to kill this bill. Can billions of dollars brainwash 6% of people in California to vote the other way? Because according to the poll I talked about earlier, that’s all it would take. Scary stuff when you really think about it.”
The time is now folks. EVERYONE needs to hit the pavement and put the word out in California about this initiative NOW. Don’t wait until the election is approaching. You better believe big business, law enforcement, and conservative voting blocs are loading up their arsenal right now, and their war chest is a lot bigger than ours. We have to make up for it with sheer effort, determination, and organization. Although I am not a resident of California, I am going to fight for this thing as hard as I can, because I know the looming domino effect that would occur across the nation. We are all in this together America! California was the first to approve medical marijuana; it is only fitting that it is also the focal point of recreational legalization as well!