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January 16, 2012

Contact: Nicole Winger
(916) 653-6575

Marijuana Initiative Enters Circulation

Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute.

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced that the proponents of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for their 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 proponents and to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponents 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:

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Decriminalizes marijuana and hemp use, possession, cultivation, transportation, or distribution. Provides persons arrested or serving time for non-violent marijuana offenses shall be immediately released from prison, jail, parole or probation, and arrest records and convictions for non-violent marijuana offenses shall be erased. Authorizes Legislature to adopt laws to license and tax commercial marijuana sales. Allows doctors to approve or recommend marijuana to patients, regardless of age. Limits testing for marijuana for employment or insurance purposes. Bars state from aiding enforcement of federal marijuana laws. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Savings potentially in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually 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. Potential net additional tax revenues in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually related to the production and sale of marijuana. (11-0073)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1544 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 11-0073.

The proponents for this measure, Michael Jolson and Berton Duzy, 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 proponents have 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by June 4, 2012.

The initiative proponents can be reached at No phone number was provided.

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