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February 15, 2012

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

Marijuana Initiative Enters Circulation

Marijuana. Regulation and Taxation of Medical Use
Industry. Reduced Criminal Penalties. 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. REGULATION AND TAXATION OF MEDICAL USE INDUSTRY. REDUCED CRIMINAL PENALTIES. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Establishes new government agency to regulate medical marijuana cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale. Imposes agency fees, and 2.5% tax on medical marijuana retail sales. Allocates new revenues to agency administration, any remainder primarily to medical marijuana research and grants. Preempts local regulation of medical marijuana, except for zoning of medical marijuana dispensaries. Requires one dispensary per 50,000 residents unless limited or banned by local initiative. Bars state and local assistance to federal enforcement against medical marijuana. Reduces criminal penalties for marijuana possession, cultivation, transport, or sale. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government:Savings potentially up to several tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments from reductions in various criminal justice costs related to enforcing marijuana crimes. Additional state tax revenues in the low tens of millions of dollars annually from a new supplemental tax on medical marijuana sales, used for various regulatory, research, education, and health care purposes generally related to medical marijuana. Increased costs to regulate medical marijuana potentially in the tens of millions of dollars annually, offset by fees and/or taxes authorized by the measure.(11-0098)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1571 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 11-0098.

The proponents for this measure, Don Duncan and Ron Lind, 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 July 13, 2012.

The initiative proponents can be reached at (916) 456-0100.

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