Drug Policy Alliance Delays CA Legalization Push

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California might have to wait until 2016 to vote on legalizing marijuana.

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and other backers of California’s Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act have pulled the plug on gathering petitions to place the measure on the 2014 ballot. The group will instead focus on 2016.

The initiative was widely regarded as the best chance to legalize in 2014 due to the DPA’s deep pockets and influence.

Several other groups are trying to get marijuana legalization measures on the ballot this year.

Americans for Policy Reform still hopes to advance its California Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act. That campaign said it has received $500,000 to fund its signature-gathering efforts. Another measure, called the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative, has also been circulating, and an additional ballot initiative could be coming down the pipeline soon.

The Drug Policy Alliance was hoping to capitalize on the industry’s momentum after legalization in Colorado and Washington. But the group said it needed more time to gather the 504,760 signatures required by April to qualify the measure for the ballot. The DPA also said it had enough funding to get the measure on the ballot but not to run a full-fledged campaign to sway voters.

Voters rejected a measure to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use in 2010, and several initiatives to get similar measures on the 2012 ballot stalled.