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October 28, 2015

CONTACT: Sam Mahood

(916) 653-6575


Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute.


SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla 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 and hemp under state law. Requires case-by-case review of charges or convictions for nonviolent marijuana offenses for possible sentence modification, amnesty, or immediate release from prison, jail, parole, or probation, and for possible clearance of criminal records. Requires Legislature to adopt laws to license and tax commercial marijuana sales. Allows doctors to approve or recommend marijuana for patients, regardless of age. Allows medical marijuana patients to designate collectives or dispensaries as primary caregivers. Limits testing for marijuana for employment or insurance purposes. Bars state or local aid to enforce federal marijuana laws. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: 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 tax revenues of potentially up to several hundred million dollars annually related to the production and sale of marijuana and industrial hemp, a portion of which is required to be spent on marijuana-related research and other activities. (15-0050.) 

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1712 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 15-0050. 

The proponents for the measure, Berton Duzy and Michael Jolson, 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 April 25, 2016.  The proponents can be reached at (805) 402-1212 or (831) 252-4367.