Legal Pot Backers Target 2010 Calif. Vote

Advocates step up efforts to have legalization put on next year's ballot
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2009 10:30 AM CDT
A woman smokes a joint in front of the California state flag at the San Francisco Patients Cooperative, a medical cannabis cooperative.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Advocates of marijuana legalization—and taxation—have stepped up their efforts to include the issue on California's November 2010 ballot, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Backers say the tide of public opinion has turned strongly in favor of legalizing and taxing pot for personal use, especially in light of its potential to help alleviate the state's catastrophic budget woes.

In Oakland alone, legalization could mean $400,000 a year in extra municipal revenue, advocates contend. "It's not the complete answer to the state budget crisis, but it's a piece of the puzzle that could be put into place relatively easily," said one proponent. "That said, there's an ongoing discussion about how to get that done as quickly as possible—and whether a ballot initiative is the way to go."