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March 14, 2014

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

Marijuana Initiative Enters Circulation

Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute.

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced 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, 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 under state law marijuana use, cultivation, possession, transportation, processing, distribution, and sale by persons 21 years and over. Erases prior convictions for certain marijuana-related offenses two years after conviction. Requires Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to regulate and license commercial marijuana cultivation, transportation, sales, and testing. Imposes 6% tax on nonmedical marijuana sales at cultivation, wholesale, and retail stages. Permits local governments to impose additional 5% sales tax. Exempts personal gardens or up to three pounds of marijuana from regulation or taxation. Requires voter approval for local governments to enact certain marijuana zoning requirements. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Reduced costs 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 tax revenues of potentially several hundred million dollars annually related to the production and sale of marijuana, a portion of which is required to be spent on specified purposes including education, marijuana-related research, and drug treatment and education programs. (14-0002.)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1657 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 14-0002.

The proponent for the measure, Ed Rosenthal, must collect signatures of 504,760 registered voters (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 the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials by August 11, 2014.

The proponent can be reached at (510) 533-0605.

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