Last week, the California Secretary of State's office officially cleared the way for what could be a chance for state voters to catch up with Colorado and Washington states and legalize recreational marijuana. Supporters of the so-caled "California Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2014" will have until February 24 of next year to collect 504,760 signatures in order to qualify the ballot proposal for a November vote.
If passed, the law would not only decriminalize the possession, sale and distribution of cannabis for either medical or recreational purposes, but also require the state to do what the feds say needs to happen to avoid further crackdowns--namely license and regulate the state's marijuana industry.
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There are other important provisions as well. A portion of the revenue generated would go to medical research on marijuana, and treatment would be open to patients of any age. Employers and insurers would also be banned from using pot tests to discriminate against cannabis consumers.
Even more importantly, though, cities would be prohibited from collaborating with federal authorities in enforcing marijuana bans, and a case-by-case review of people convicted of non-violent, marijuana-related cases would be mandated.