Push to Legalize Pot in California Continues

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NEVADA COUNTY-

A Nevada City attorney and her Bay Area colleague have submitted a proposal to the state attorney general’s office that would legalize marijuana in the state.

“We cannot make the same mistake again in California in 2016,” Heather Burke, co-writer of the California Craft Cannabis Initiative said.

Since voters failed to enact Prop 19 (“Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act”) in 2010, Burke and attorney Omar Figueroa were determined to legalize pot.

Burke believes Prop 19 failed because the language did not support craft growers.

“We wanted to write something that incentivizes the mom-and-pop or the craft growers who are the backbone of California's long-standing cannabis history,” Burke said.

They submitted the initiative on April 15.

Patricia Smith is a craft cannabis grower in Grass Valley. She has been growing her own and giving away medicinal marijuana out of her home for years. She is also a patient herself, who uses her products as pain relievers and muscle relaxers. She said she supports Burke’s initiative.

“We specialize in strains that your typical stoner would not have anything to do with -- this does not get you high at all,” Smith said, while showing FOX40 her pot tincture. “I want to work with the government. I want to paid my taxes. I want to do things right and I want to help my patients.”

The California Craft Cannabis Initiative would essentially decriminalize pot, by repealing health and safety codes related to marijuana crimes. It will set tiers for marijuana grows.

  • 6 plants per individual.
  • 99 or less plants for craft growers.
  • 100 or more plants for commercial cultivation.

It would also set up the California Cannabis Commission to oversee licensing, create an organized DNA genome bank for specific strains and offer trademarking.

“Right now you can get ‘Big Dream,’ at one dispensary and ‘Blue Dream’ at another dispensary and there is no guarantee that it is going to be the same,” Burke said.

“I particularly like the trademark aspect,” Smith said. “For a long time you had your Coors and Budweiser. And now you have 1 billion craft brewers. And they offer a better industry, and they give you more variety, and I think it is a good thing for everybody.”

The California Craft Cannabis Initiative must get at least 300,000 signatures for it to appear on the November 2016 ballot. Burke said she hopes other groups come out with similar initiatives so they can join forces to get statewide marijuana legalization passed.

Another statewide marijuana initiative was put forward Monday.

The “Marijuana Control Legalization and Revenue Act of 2016” measure was filed at the state Capitol.

This initiative also highlights Californians to grow, use, transport, and even sell, cannabis in ways similar to alcohol.

It cites sales tax on cannabis would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue for the state.