Skip to main content

Marijuana: California Tax and Regulate Cannabis 2010 Initiative Suspends Signature Gathering -- Because They Have Enough

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #611)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

The Tax and Regulate Cannabis 2010 initiative, sponsored by Oakland medical marijuana entrepreneur Richard Lee, has laid off its paid signature gatherers, saying they already have sufficient signatures to qualify for the November 2010 ballot.

Richard Lee, in front of Oaksterdam University gift shop (courtesy
Lee told the Chronicle Thursday that more than 650,000 signatures have been turned in, and that he expects an additional 50,000 or so to dribble in during the coming weeks. Precisely 433,971 valid signatures of registered California voters are required for an initiative to be approved for the ballot. That leaves Lee and the initiative a substantial cushion of about a quarter-million signatures to make up for any invalid ones.

The campaign will wait to turn in signatures until January 15. If they were turned in this month, the initiative would appear on the June ballot, not the November ballot. Lee and the campaign prefer the latter.

Lee's initiative, which would allow individuals up to 25 square feet to grow their own and would allow counties and municipalities to opt to tax and regulate marijuana sales on a local basis, is controversial. Some national figures believe it is premature and risks going down in flames at the polls, thus setting the movement back, while some California activists believe it does not go far enough and does not entice voters with potential revenues for the crisis-ridden state budget.

But it will be on the November 2010 ballot, provided the signatures are certified by election officials in February. It may not be the only legalization initiative on the ballot. At least two other signature-gathering campaigns for competing initiatives are under way.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

The man who wrote Prop 215 says this initiative is only to make Mr Lee money. 25 square feet is nothing. that is a 5' x 5' area.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 4:12am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

He's right. Mr. Lee is simply furthering his own agenda while limiting county limits like Humboldt. Their limits will actually go down. Mr. Lee simply wants a monopoly to continue by ingratiating himself with local politicians.

Fri, 12/18/2009 - 4:15am Permalink
Jordan (not verified)

As a strong supporter of marijuana legalization and a California voter, I do not think this ballot initiative will be helpful to the movement. Direct democracy is great in theory, but the potential to confuse an uninformed electorate with misleading 30 second ads is huge. Election year after election year Californians watch very noble measures go down in flames. Keeping same-sex marriage legal. A $4 billion investment in alternative energy. Three strikes reform. All of these were defeated by ads that were total distortions of the facts, "Gay marriage will be taught in schools," "Rapists will be allowed to roam free if we stop locking up repeat petty offenders"

California voters may be inclined right now to legalize and regulate marijuana. You don't think that will change once the opposition produces a slippery slope ad which makes it seem as if this ballot initiative will cause heroin junkies to sprout up everywhere? We live in a democratic republic for a reason. We should support Ammiano's bill, not this ballot initiative.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 1:12pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Although I am a realist and doubt this measure can win, I have seen the polls, and I know there is chance! I am going to do everything I can to support this. Not big enough grow space? Who cares! At least its legal for healthy persons to possess marijuana!

We do need a lot of money though to fight the prison guard union and narcotic officers association!!!

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 2:33pm Permalink
edmccann (not verified)

In response to Jordan, I understand and sympathize with his concerns. The Right often uses fear, irrationality, and smears to oppose what more thoughtful people understand to be reasonable policies. Reason is not in many people's vocabularies, unfortunately, either on the Right or the Left.

However, WE must make the change. It will not happen because politicians believe in it. It will happen because WE, in our daily living and interactions, refute the lies. We LIVE the truth, that cannabis can be not only harmless, but helpful. That is how gay rights have become more accepted, because when gay folks starting LIVING their truth and not HIDING it, people saw they couldn't oppose others' true lives. We all see that gays are regular folks, just like We the Heads are. So when I live my true life, generous, hard-working, kind, helpful, etc, and demonstrate that cannabis aficionados are not destroying society but helping improve and add to it, the persecution, lies, and destruction will hopefully subside.

Thus I support the initiative and will work to the end to pass it. And I support Ammiano's bill, because we are struggling on all fronts to achieve our truth.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 2:35pm Permalink
johnny1 (not verified)

eventually it will be "legal" so what or who does not really matter!

The "WE" is the key

think of all those DEA agents and eradication foolios out of jobs! ha

think of all those tax dollars ! and jobs from this industry!

all this over a silly little plant!

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 9:39pm Permalink
big country (not verified)

In reply to by johnny1 (not verified)

How the bill is written makes the difference. If we accept their first offer, we may screw ourselves. It is our duty to oversee our gov't and make damn sure that they don't take too much. We could be signing our rights away just like the day it became illegal. I understand that we need at least a counter offer and a separate bill to choose from. As for the DEA agents, they will not suffer. Regulating means enforcement. If I get caught selling moonshine, I go to prison. I am allowed to make 50 gallons (25 cases) of beer per year, 51 and I risk prison. If I sell a beer, I'm breaking federal law. This is comparable to the "legal" weed.

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 9:28am Permalink
Giordano (not verified)

Section 3: Lawful Activities, Part (ii) Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 does indeed limit the growing area to ‘twenty-five square feet’.  But there is no height or depth specified.  If someone owns an old mine shaft, an elevator shaft, or a smoke stack, with no more than 25 square feet of cross sectional area; they’re set.  Think Jack and the Beanstalk, except with pot seeds instead of magic beans.

Also, while searching for grow areas and numbers, I found a mistake (typo?).  In Section 11304: Effect of Act and Definitions, Section D Definitions, part (ii); For purposes of this Act “One ounce” means 28.5 grams.

Sorry.  One ounce is 28.349523125 grams.

But what the hey.  Maybe Mr. Lee is being generous with his ounces.  No problem.


Wed, 12/09/2009 - 12:27am Permalink
bigcountry (not verified)

In reply to by Giordano (not verified)

when I got busted in a space of 35' x 15' (525 sq ft) and only .75 of the room was used, I was charged for 1400' of canopy. 4 mother plants were measured and multiplied by the number of plants in the scene. we can't use logic in that sense. the way of the law is set already.

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 9:13am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

If the bill passes, how long afterward does it take go into effect?
This will surely put every street guy out for sure.

Sat, 12/26/2009 - 5:10pm Permalink
Anonymous14 (not verified)

No matter what, Even if this Bill passes there will always Be a Market for High grade medicinal cannabis. When everyone is allowed to grow their own It will come down to who has the best. Which is indeed a good thing because 50-80% of MMj card holder do not grow their own they rely on dispensaries, which of the majority does not grow their own, they rely of vendors in which 50% are growing outdoor bullshit and renaming it and selling to dispensaries which leads to California's watered down MMJ Industry. Even though everyone will be allowed to have a 5'x5' area doesn't mean everyone will grow. Also it doesn't mean everyone will take the time to grow perfected flowers, and It isn't like cannabis flowers Last forever. They are grown and burned up just like Gas. Demand for high grade may Be even higher once some people realized there's more to growing perfect flowers than they expected

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 12:16pm Permalink
bigcountry (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous14 (not verified)

your dank weed will still be black market for 3 times as much as R.J.. and R.J.'s weed will be sticky green. Growing good weed is not hard. one can grow 1000 lbs. of nugs single handed. compare it $ for $ for the weed grown in a small patch (5x5). a 5x5 will produce a few lbs. enough to get 1 or 2 people through the year. to be competitive, the price drops drastically.
I make great beer in small batches. can I compete with sierra nevada? no, I drink it.

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 9:00am Permalink
big country (not verified)

Read between the lines people! WE cannot let them control every aspect of our lives. This bill cuts ol' ma and pa out of the scene and gives their hard earned cash to big corporations. We will be happy to pay income tax on our own profits but to give our jobs to the big dogs will hurt our own welfare. What will we do, trim weed for R.J. Reynolds, smoke crappy weed grown for megabucks and forfeit our rights willingly?! I am all for decriminalizing and restoring the lawfulness of this particular herb and I am not fooled by the hype of my plant saving this state. Keep it for the people not the state! 25 square feet is not enough for the people. Do you really want your weed grown by Phillip Morris? Thousands of small time growers losing land and going for welfare? The corps. will overgrow the market, the price will drop, small growers land in prison for resorting to interstate transport, border security heightens, no end to the war on marijuana. Thousands are in prison for alcohol related offenses. They forced control and this is legal.

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 8:25am Permalink

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.