Calls for legalization of Marijuana in California

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on October 06, 2014.

The Marijuana Policy Project, a national marijuana advocacy group, began the process of raising money in order to launch a strong campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in California in 2016. The MPP has filed paperwork with the California Secretary of State's office. The move is on the lines of initiatives taken by Colorado and Washington in 2012.

California is the leading state in the United States to produce illegal marijuana. The medical marijuana industry remains unregulated for years. Although California is one of the 21 states that allow medical marijuana, the drug remains illegal here under federal law. The Marijuana Policy Project believes that prohibition of recreational marijuana, has an adverse impact on the communities in California. It believes that marijuana must be allowed to be used just like alcohol and should not be treated as a criminal offense.

The group, which has its base in Washington D.C. has also established campaign committees to start the legalization process in Arizona, Massachusetts and Nevada apart from California. The aim is to legalize marijuana in these states in 2016. It can be noted that voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia will take a call on legalization of marijuana in November 2014.

This is not the first time California will witness such a situation. In 2010, the voters in this state had rejected a ballot initiative, which sought to legalize recreational marijuana. The state had allowed medical marijuana way back in 1996, but the medical marijuana users and other growers of pot, have been resisting any move to legalize its recreational use, apprehending a surge in its prices.

As the campaign in California has just begun and the state has two long years to take a decision, the Marijuana Policy Project is hopeful of building a consensus or at least majority of opinion in favor of recreational marijuana use. The Drug Policy Alliance, another group, which is expected to play a major role in this campaign, has estimated the cost of total campaign at $8 million to $12 million.

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