2016 will be California’s best chance at legalizing marijuana. It will be a Presidential election year, voter turnout will be high, and money will be flooding into the state if things are done correctly. California needs to get on board with one initiative, and put all resources towards that one effort. Having four competing initiatives will not work in 2016.
There needs to be polling and research done to see what language resonates the most with likely voters. There needs to be multiple initiatives drafted based off of that polling, and the language of each initiative needs then to be re-polled to gauge what the support level is. Whichever one polls the highest, that’s the one that needs to get everyone’s support. If that happens, it sounds like even California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom would campaign for the initiative. Per the Huffington Post:
During a luncheon meeting for the Marin County Bar Association last week, Newsom said he would back a marijuana legalization measure “if it is the right initiative,” The Marin Independent Journal reported.
“The ‘right initiative’ would be one that addresses age limits — he doesn’t want to see the drug in the hands of kids — one that addresses advertising, driving under the influence,” Andrea Koskey, communications director for Newsom, told The Huffington Post. “He’d like to see questions answered on taxation — whether there are different taxes for medical marijuana or recreational use — banking, whether it can be used in the home, and the kind of restrictions for use in public, as some among many more questions that we don’t have answers to yet.”
Marijuana legalization is overdue in California. California used to be the leader when it came to marijuana reform. After all, it was the first state to legalize medical marijuana. However, due to fracturing between marijuana supporters in California, and a lack of financial support from national funders and organizations, recreational marijuana legalization has eluded California. Hopefully that changes in 2016.