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November 8, 2011

Contact: Nicole Winger
(916) 653-6575

Marijuana Initiative Enters Circulation

Reduced Marijuana Penalties. Initiative Statute.

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced that the proponent of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for his measure.

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. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Attorney General's official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

REDUCED MARIJUANA PENALTIES. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Limits punishment to $250 fine or community service for possession, cultivation, sale, or transportation of up to two ounces of marijuana; limits punishment to six months in county jail and/or $500 fine if violator is less than 21. Retains existing penalties for marijuana offenses on school grounds and for offenses involving sale to a minor, employment of minor in criminal marijuana enterprise, or driving under influence of marijuana. Makes property forfeiture laws inapplicable to marijuana offenses involving two ounces or less. Retains laws regarding marijuana in the workplace, driving under influence, and medical marijuana. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Unknown savings to state and local governments on the costs of enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses, handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. (11-0040)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1518 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 11-0040.

The proponent for this measure, Bill Zimmerman, must collect signatures of 504,760 registered voters – the number equal to five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by April 5, 2012.

The initiative proponent can be reached at (310) 451-2522.

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