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California Legalization Atop Cannabis Conference Agenda

California Dept. of Justice photo

California Dept. of Justice photo

The cannabis industry holds its international business conference in San Francisco this weekend, and a November 2016 ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana for California adults is high on the conference agenda.

Groups that support marijuana legalization and taxation in California are trying to agree on a single initiative.

Dale Sky Jones with the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform says there are lots of details to work out. For example, “Creating a taxation regime that can really benefit the bottom line of the state, but not be so burdensome that we’re creating a secondary black market,” Jones says.

She adds that there are lots of different interests involved – such as growers, patients, and business owners. “We’re jostling for position right now amongst those that are supposed to be friends on how to move forward in California in a way that benefits most of us most of the time,” Jones says.

But Kevin Sabet with the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana argues Californians were right to reject a similar ballot measure in 2010.

“We don’t need to lock people up in jail for marijuana. But we don’t need to create an industry, Big Marijuana, which is exactly what would happen if California legalized,” Sabet says. 

State lawmakers, meanwhile, could vote later this year on a regulatory framework for medical marijuana.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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