New Push to Legalize Marijuana in Calif.

Supporters want to tax and regulate pot like alcohol.

By Joe Young
|  Monday, Oct 31, 2011  |  Updated 5:36 AM PDT
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2 Smuggling Attempts, 450 Pounds of Pot

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The earliest this would make the ballot is March 2012.

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Plans to make marijuana legal in California received a boost over the weekend with an announcement by a state official.

California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, said Saturday that proponents of decriminalizing pot can begin collecting petition signatures for next November’s ballot.

Proponents of the potential ballot measure said it’s based on making the jobs of law enforcement easier all while benefiting the state.

“It’s a campaign that’s completely different from past efforts,” said proponent, Steve Kubby. “It represents a compromise. Officials have seen that the drug war is causing more harm than good and they want to stop pot from raising money for gangs and terror each year.”

The measure aims to make marijuana usage within the state taxable as well as making sure it’s regulated.

The initiative would make it legal to sell, distribute, possess, cultivate and transport the drug.

“Our point is to regulate it like alcohol and start taxing it…it’s one of the biggest crops in California and it goes completely untaxed,” said Kubby.

Kubby added that the measure will aim to move pot from California’s Controlled Substance Act.

Nearly 505,000 signatures from registered voters must be collected in order for the initiative to make it to the ballot and they must sign before March 26 of next year, according to a media release.

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