Many advocates for cannabis reform laws in California believe that 2016 is the year that recreational cannabis will become legal in the state. As many as 60 state initiatives have been authorized to move forward and circulate for signatures, and 20 ballot measures have been filed. Since California’s failure to legalize the recreational use of cannabis under Proposition 19 in 2010, Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska have passed laws legalizing the recreational use of the drug and an additional nine states have legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
Despite the vast competition, the proponents of these competing measures all have at least one common goal: getting a legalization measure on the November 2016 ballot. For an initiative to qualify for the November ballot, promoters must collect 365,880 petition signatures from registered voters. Under California law, if more than one measure qualifies on the same issue, the measure with the most votes overall will go on the ballot. So long as one measure qualifies, it seems fairly certain that recreational marijuana will be on the ballot this year.
Adult Use of Marijuana Act
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) is a 62-page initiative backed by former president of Facebook and founder of Napster, Sean Parker. Partially due to the financial backing of Sean Parker, AUMA has emerged as the top contender to get on the state ballot in November. The initiative has raised approximately $2.25 million and was recently endorsed by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), one of the oldest cannabis reform associations in the country. Other endorsements include the Marijuana Policy Project, California Cannabis Industry Association, Drug Policy Alliance and California NAACP. 2018 governor-hopeful Gavin Newsom, who chaired a blue-ribbon commission to determine the best way to legalize recreational cannabis in California while also limiting minors’ access, targeting crime and regulating the safe cultivation and distribution of cannabis, has also thrown his support to AUMA.
Below is a summary of the key components of AUMA’s provisions and restrictions.
Regulation and Oversight
Social Justice Reform