Major California rec legalization initiative filed

We’re still a long way from the 2016 general election, but one of the more prominent groups hoping to legalize recreational cannabis in California next year has put a key piece of its plan in motion.

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, which is headed by Oaksterdam University’s Dale Sky Jones, filed its initiative language with the state attorney general’s office, according to the San Francisco Weekly. You can read the full initiative here.

The group is campaigning as Reform California, or simply Reform CA.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the measure’s viability, and whether or not the organization can pull off a 2016 campaign without a major financial backer, according to the SF Weekly.

LA Weekly also reported that it looks as though the Marijuana Policy Project and the Drug Policy Alliance have both “pulled their support” from the initiative, and that Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker is apparently working on his own initiative.

MPP Communications Director Mason Tvert said in an email Monday that the organization is “still in discussion with various potential coalition members, and we have yet to express support for any specific proposal.”

Lynne Lyman, California state director for the DPA, said in an email Tuesday that her group was not consulted about the initiative prior to its filing, but that the DPA is looking forward to reviewing it.

“It’s important to us that a single well-crafted, practical and viable initiative appears on the ballot next year,” Lyman wrote.

But Sky Jones’ organization does list among its supporters 11 other organizations. Jones did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The initiative itself would legalize cannabis “in a manner consistent with the regulation of alcohol,” but it would leave much of the details up to a state commission that would establish rules, fees and licensing timelines. Rulemaking wouldn’t begin until July 2017, however, and it’s likely that sales wouldn’t start until 2018.

The measure would also overturn a lot of local commercial medical cannabis bans established by officials and would require such bans be approved by voters, thereby possibly opening up even more MMJ business opportunities around the state.

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