(AlterNet) The Tax & Regulate Cannabis 2010 campaign has just achieved a major victory in its efforts to legalize marijuana for all adults in California — they have gathered the signatures necessary for inclusion on the state’s November ballot.
This win means that Californians will be the first in the nation to decide whether they believe marijuana ought be taxed and regulated for all adults over 21, much the same way alcohol is.
The drug reform movement’s eyes will be on California next year, because many advocates believe that if the initiative passes, many other states could follow.
Support for marijuana legalization is at an all-time high, with polls ranging from 44 to 52 percent national support. In California, where marijuana has been legalized for medical use since 1996, 56 percent support legalization.
This may be why the campaign’s organizers were able to gather so many signatures — nearly 700,000 — so quickly.
By the last week of November, Tax Cannabis had handily exceeded the 433,971 required signatures it needed for ballot qualification and ended the petitioning stage of its campaign.
They’ll officially submit the signatures sometime in February, so that they qualify for the November ballot instead of the one in June, which is expected to have a less favorable voter turnout.
Once they submit the signatures, the state will have 90 days to verify the signatures. As long as the minimum amount of them are valid, the ballot is a go.
One thing I can tell you: once California re-legalizes marijuana, it will be hard for Oregon, Arizona, and Nevada not to. Can you imagine how tough it will be to get across the California border if marijuana is legal there and not in the neighboring states?