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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

March 25, 2010

POT FOR PLEASURE TO BE ON CALIFORNIA'S BALLOT

LA TIMES - A measure to legalize marijuana will be on California's November ballot Supporters of the initiative collected well more than the 433,971 signatures needed for it to go before voters in the fall, again putting the state at the forefront of the nation's drug debate. . .

The measure, like the medical marijuana initiative, could put California on a collision course with the federal government. The possession and sale of marijuana remain a federal crime.

This month, President Obama's drug czar, R. Gil Kerlikowske, decried legalization in a speech to police chiefs in San Jose.

The initiative would allow adults 21 or older to possess up to an ounce for personal use.

Possession of an ounce or less has been a misdemeanor with a $100 fine since 1975, when Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, who was then governor, signed a law that reduced tough marijuana penalties that had allowed judges to impose 10-year sentences.

Legalization supporters note that misdemeanor arrests have risen dramatically in California in the last two decades. The initiative would also allow adults to grow up to 25 square feet of marijuana per residence or parcel.

But the measure, known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act, goes further, allowing cities and counties to adopt ordinances that would authorize the cultivation, transportation and sale of marijuana, which could be taxed to raise revenue.


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