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No Consensus From Marijuana Legalization Advocates On Ballot Initiative

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Advocates for legalizing recreational marijuana in California want to put the question to voters next election, but they have not agreed on a ballot initiative.

“Herding cats” is the phrase multiple legalization advocates used for trying to coalesce support around one proposal.

"I don't know a better description [for] this particular industry," says Dale Sky Jones, who leads legalization advocacy organization ReformCA.

The group filed its legalization initiative over the weekend. But other major advocacy groups say they weren’t consulted. They may side with another initiative from a billionaire Silicon Valley investor.

Lynne Lyman of the Drug Policy Alliance says competing proposals are a problem.

"They’ll often just vote no. It creates a lot of back-and-forth between the different proponents," says Lyman.

"They’ve been waffling," Jones says about the other groups. "They don’t know what they want. And that’s the difference between them and the Californians who have been staring at this issue for years."

Supporters of legalization have little time to build a consensus. They’re already behind the timetable recommended by the Secretary of State’s office to qualify an initiative for the November 2016 ballot.