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California Medical Marijuana Measure Dropped in Favor of Legislative Campaign

The coalition of activists who had put together a proposed initiative to enact statewide regulations on California's chaotic medical marijuana system are dropping that effort and will instead focus on getting a nearly identical bill passed in the state legislature, they announced last week.

The initiative, the Medical Marijuana Control, Regulate and Tax Act (MMCRT) had been aimed at the November ballot, but faced daunting challenges in getting there. The act needed more than 500,000 valid voter signatures in the next five weeks to make the ballot, and campaign organizers said they didn't have enough money to pay for signature-gatherers to get over the hump.

Dan Rush, the Oakland-based head of the national UFCW's Medical Cannabis and Hemp Division, told the Sacramento Bee last Thursday that the initiative effort was over. "We're not doing the initiative. We're pulling the plug on it," he said.

Both Rush and Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, which had also backed the initiative, said money was the issue. The campaign had raised $1.2 million, but backers estimated they needed $2 million to make the ballot. While the ballot measure may be dead, the effort to bring some much needed order to the state's medical marijuana scene is not.

"We're not dropping anything," Sherer told the SF Weekly Thursday night, adding that the cash raised would go for a "public awareness campaign" aimed at lawmakers. While the ballot measure won't be on the ballot, it "achieved its dream -- to get something in the legislature," she said.

That "something" is Assembly Bill 2312, introduced by one of marijuana law reform's staunchest allies in the legislature, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco).  Like the initiative, it would impose statewide regulation on the commerce in medical marijuana, while protecting the rights of patients.

AB 2312 was introduced at the end of last month, and may get a hearing March 27.

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Is there a companion bill in the Senate?

I hope it passes!


I find it awfully strange that in California where some people DO have money and a lot of rich celebrities that like to indulge in the herb can't or won't help fund this? I am sure that extra $800.000 would easily be gotten if they really walked the walk and not just talk the talk. All you so-called Hollywood stars/ganja lovers come on

RE: Money? The Governator already took care of them ...

when he signed the cannabis decriminalization bill that offers a fine of $100 in place of prison time for holding less than 1 Zip. It is the working class and poor that suffer the most from draconian persecution, particularly those who rely upon cannabis for their medical needs. A month's worth of "Rick Simpson's Cure" takes 8 to 16 ounces of medical grade cannabis to make, with most treatment regimens requiring a minimum of 4 to 6 months of aggressive treatment. Many are not in a position to be able to grow that much cannabis themselves, particularly with the current Obama-inspired crackdown, let alone go through the process of making that hash oil. Pretty soon, the only access to cannabis will again be the corner dealer working for LEO-sanctioned drug cartels, based upon current trends.

MMJ for people who really need it should be cheap

reflecting only the cost of legal growing, which is minimal. Even in states with legal MMJ, the price for seriously ill patients who can't grow their own is an outrage. They need to separate out the people who really need MMJ, figure out how much each of them needs, and provide it without anyone making big bucks off of it. And shame on all the states that don't allow MMJ.


This is baldfaced corruption. No other explanation. Marijuana legalization is PRIMARY to we who want it legal. These people sucked into political world lose their perspective. Black market and corruption hurt everyone. If there was some kind of organization that actually tried to legalize marijuana that was pro active, imo it would already be legal. Bunch of frickin' losers.

'The government's line is that the use marihuana leads to more dangerous drugs. The fact is the lack of marihuana leads to dangerous drugs.'-Dr. David Smith, Haight Ashbury Free Clinic


Maybe if these people would post something where medical patients could find it they could get signitures! I have not been able to locate a petition anywhere to sign! Use your heads people if a guy who stays on top of this issue cant finda petition to  sign how are others going to find one? The only place i can find any news is the Sacramento News and Review and there is very little information there. 

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