Medical marijuana activist and Oaksterdam University founder Richard Lee speaks during a news conference to bring attention to California State Proposition 19. That measure won 46.2 percent of the vote in 2010, but no successor measure will be on the ballot this year.
California voters won't get to vote on marijuana legalization this year, after several attempts to get a measure on the November ballot failed to meet the April 20 deadline -- yes, THAT April 20 -- to qualify their initiatives.
In 2010, Proposition 19 -- the Tax, Regulate, and Control Cannabis Act -- won more votes than Meg Whitman, but still lost, 46.2 percent "yes" to 53.8 percent "no." That historic moment would not be lost, vowed cannabis advocates, who promised to return in 2012.
The advocates returned, with new ideas and new ballot measures, but the money did not follow, according to SF Weekly. Not enough financial backing could be found to hire the signature-gatherers to put a measure on the ballot, according to the newspaper.
It costs almost $2 million to gather the signatures required to put a measure on the ballot before voters. Over 500,000 valid signatures from registered voters are needed, but most campaigns submit over 700,000 to ensure that invalid scribbles or unregistered voters don't scrub the whole deal.
The federal Justice Department's crackdown on medical marijuana may have also played a role, the newspaper reported, but the main roadblock was money. Oaksterdam University's Richard Lee spent $1.5 million of his own money to put Prop. 19 on the ballot, and nobody with that kind of bank account was available this year.