Marijuana legalization fails to qualify

Redwood Times

An initiative to decriminalize marijuana sales, distribution, possession, cultivation and transportation has failed to collect enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

The initiative, which was sponsored by James. P. Gray, Stephen Collett, William McPike and Steve Kubby, would have retained laws forbidding use while driving or in the workplace but would have established regulation of commercial marijuana trade to match regulation of wine and beer. It would have allowed production of up to 24 flowering plants per household, and more with local approval. It would also have authorized retail sales of marijuana with a THC level of .3% or more to persons 21 and older. The age limit would not have applied to marijuana with less than a .3% THC level.

The measure would also have banned the sale of genetically modified marijuana.

Steve Kubby says that the group backing the legislation intends to try again and is already gearing up for state phone banking on the measure. They have a target of getting it on the 2014 ballot. He blamed the lack of signatures on lack of funding. The backers they had counted on were over-extended. He thinks the money will be there for another try.

"We know it's popular," Kubby says. The measure was supported by many in law enforcement and the judicial system. He says that in polling people responded well to the idea of regulating marijuana like wine. The initiative polled with an approval rating of 62%. But the approximately 200,000 signatures they collected were not enough to meet the ballot requirement for 2012.