Heavy-hitting ReformCA releases 2016 legalization initiative

The largest and best-funded group seeking to legalize adult-use recreational cannabis in California has filed the first draft of its long-awaited voter initiative.

As currently written, ReformCA’s Control, Regulate, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2016 would, among other provisions, legalize possession of up to one ounce by adults 21 and over; license commercial farms and stores; allow for public consumption in licensed facilities; allow cities and counties to ban cannabis businesses by popular vote; prevent stoned driving; prevent cannabis money going to criminal cartels; and protect medical cannabis patients and caregivers.

ReformCA joins a crowded field of 10 initiatives jockeying for attention and possibly even the 2016 ballot — from bare-bones statements to fully-lawyered language.

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Idaho Sheriff: Don’t Fill My Jail with Cannabis Arrests

I’m expecting a press release from the California Highway Patrol any time now regarding the low-priced, high-quality cannabis motorists may be driving into California when neighboring Oregon begins legal cannabis sales Oct. 1.

In the meantime, there’s Idaho, whose legislature vowed never to pass any sort of cannabis law and which now borders two legal recreational cannabis states as well as medical-cannabis Montana and Canada.

A county sheriff with a 72-bed jail in Idaho’s southwestern Snake River region is encouraging his deputies to cite rather than arrest drivers caught with cannabis.

“I’ve basically asked that they not overload our jail with marijuana arrests,” Payette County Sheriff Chad Huff said.
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Oregon Begins Early Start Recreational Cannabis Sales — Tax-Free and Edibles-Free — Oct. 1

Oregon will allow adult-use recreational cannabis sales beginning Oct. 1, nearly a year earlier than originally planned — tax-free until January, although without edibles.

The Associated Press reports that Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill today allowing existing medical cannabis dispensaries to temporarily sell the legal botanical drug to people age 21 and over.

Early sales, even without taxes in a state that already boasts the lowest cannabis prices in the nation, was championed by both Republicans and Democrats, as a way to combat the black market.
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ReformCA Hires Political Strategists; Plus a Peek at All Legalization Initiatives

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform teased its much-anticipated ReformCA legalization initiative last week, announcing the hiring of veteran political consultants Joe Trippi and Jim Gonzalez, plus the hiring of Progressive Campaigns Inc. to handle the gathering of petition signatures.

Backed by or working with all the major national cannabis reform groups, the Bay Area coalition is expected to submit its initiative to the Secretary of State’s office in early August.

ReformCA will join a crowded field jockeying for the 2016 ballot.
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Newsom Legalization Panel: Battle Banditos Before Mining Cannabis Taxes

The academics, activists and policy experts assembled by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom — the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy that seeks to influence cannabis legalization initiatives in California — released its report today. The 93-page document contains 58 recommendations. Chief among them:

Curtailing the illegal cannabis market in California should be the primary goal of legalizing the botanical drug’s recreational use in the state, and not developing another tax source.

“This industry should not be California’s next Gold Rush,” Newsom’s commission said.
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