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September 17, 2015

CONTACT: Sam Mahood

(916) 653-6575


Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute.


SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla today announced the proponents of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures.  

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows: 

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Legalizes marijuana under state law. Creates commission to regulate and license marijuana industry. Applies general retail sales taxes to marijuana, unless medical or dietary exemptions apply. Permits excise taxes on certain marijuana sales, up to 15% of retail price, and storage, up to 10% of wholesale price. Prohibits discrimination based on marijuana use. Bars marijuana testing for job applicants and employees, or penalizing employees for off-duty use, unless they are in safety-sensitive occupations. Permits local regulation of marijuana businesses, including ban or cap with voter approval. Exempts medical marijuana collectives from licensing and local zoning. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net reduced costs ranging from tens of millions of dollars to potentially exceeding $100 million annually to state and local governments related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses, handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Net additional state and local tax revenues of potentially up to several hundred million dollars annually related to the production and sale of marijuana, most of which would be required to be spent for specific purposes such as education, public safety, and drug abuse education and treatment. (15-0039.) 

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1700 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 15-0039. 

The proponents for the measure, John Lee, Dege Coutee Dave Hodges, Omar Figueroa, Michael Grafton, Shona Gochenaur, Teresa Randolph, Denise Dorey, Jason Bennett, Gregory Ledbetter, Jon Martinelli, Elihu Hernandez, Gilbert Canedo, Sandra Bacon-Tercero, Edie Lerman, J. David Nick, Russell Goodrow, Jason Browne, Gregory Fuentes, Lanette Davies, Richard Miller, Marc Baylen, Patricia Smith, Ron Mullins, and Heather Burke, must collect the signatures of 365,880 registered voters (five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2014 general election) in order to qualify it for the November 2016 ballot. The proponents have 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials by March 14, 2016.  The proponents can be reached at No phone number was provided.