As of now it seems that The Adult Use of Marijuana Act in California has more than enough signatures to make the statewide ballot this November. According to reports, backers of AUMA have gathered over 600,000 signatures, far more than the roughly 365,000 needed to make the ballot (many petition signatures are usually thrown out for various reasons so groups always strive for as many signatures as possible).
The measure would legalize recreational marijuana possession, growing, and sales in California, a state that legalized medical marijuana in 1996. Among other things, the AUMA would legalize possession of up to an ounce by anyone aged 21 years or older, as well as allow 6 plants to be grown at home without a license.
The California legalization measure has major backing, including the endorsement of the state’s Lt. Governor, Gavin Newsom. The financial backing is even more impressive, including Weedmaps, The Drug Policy Alliance, Nicholas Pritzker of Hyatt Hotels, and AUMA’s biggest benefactor, Internet billionaire Sean Parker.
With several states considering various marijuana law reform measures this year, opponents of legalization may decide to make their stand in California. If AUMA passes it could open the floodgates of recreational legalization across the country; if it fails, those who oppose legalization can hold it up as proof that legalization may not be as inevitable as proponents like to claim.
So far polls show support for recreational legalization in California to be almost 60%, which means opponents will have to fight even harder. It’s going to be an interesting year when it comes to cannabis law reform in California and around the country.