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California's Attorney General, charged with creating "title and summary" for every proposed ballot initiative, just published a potentially game-changing summary of one of the proposed marijuana legalization initiatives for the November, 2014 ballot.

Here is the portion where costs and revenues are estimated:

Reduced costs in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually to  state and local governments related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses, handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Potential net additional tax revenues in the low hundreds of  millions of dollars annually related to the production and sale of marijuana, a portion of  which is required to be spent on education, health care, public safety, drug abuse education and treatment, and the regulation of commercial marijuana activities.
There has been significant controversy over whether it is better to wait until 2016 to put any such legalization measure on the ballot, insofar as it is assumed that there would be a more favorable electoral demographic and public opinion would e assumed to bcontinue to move towards favoring legalization over the intervening two years.  But according to this Washington Post report
the ballot summary is so favorable that strategists think they will be able to pass the measure even in the lower-turnout midterm year.
It's high time (pun intended after the fact) that California join Washington and Colorado as states with legal marijuana use, sales and growth.
...the measure would legalize the use, growth, cultivation, possession, transportation, storage and sale of marijuana, while creating a commission to regulate and issue business licenses for cultivation and sales.
There will almost certainly be no DOMA-equivalent court decision for legalized pot. Windsor is now paving the way for a momentuous Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriages nationwide faster than anyone might have imagined just a year ago. But it seems to me that the marijuana legalization battle is going to have to be fought state by state and mostly ballot initiative by ballot initiative (since most legislators are still unwilling to come within a mile of such efforts) until the sheer absurdity of having weed legal in most of the States of the United States will force the Unite States Executive's and/or the Unied States Congress' hand.

California is a very good place to concentrate on, one that will kick said effort into high gear in the rest of the country.

Find me a petition and hand me a pen.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:03 PM PST.

Also republished by California politics, SFKossacks, Progressive Policy Zone, and DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.

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