California

Overpassing the Value of Public Space

June 24, 2016 by Source

FreewayOverpass Public Space

By Howard M. Blackson III / SanDiego.UrbDeZine.com

“Caltrans does not restrict the right of free speech with handheld banners, but attaching flags or banners is not allowed,” a Caltrans-Spokesman told the San Jose Mercury News.

He added, “We are concerned that people waving handheld banners could cause driver distraction — putting their safety or that of the motoring public at risk.”

Today, we have prioritized the ‘motoring public’ over all other aspects of public life.

Our failure to cultivate the value and quality of our public spaces and public life is found in this picture of protesters and political advocates on a freeway overpass.

Our cities are made up of public buildings, streets, squares and private lots, blocks and buildings. But when people want to be heard, seen, and get their message out to as many people as possible, they now gather on freeway bridge overpasses… for it’s on the freeways where everyone else can be found today, and not on our public street corners and squares.

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Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

June 22, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry at home and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are fighting to create a nuclear free future,

California Announces Last Nuclear Plant in State – Diablo Canyon – to Close by 2025

The really big news is that on June 21, PG&E, the utility that owns Diablo Canyon, announced that it had agreed to a proposal endorsed by environmental groups and labor unions to shutter California’s last operating nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, by 2025.

This is a major victory for environmentalists – California is going nuclear-free, ending atomic energy’s more than half-century history in the state. For years, anti-nuclear activists had called for the plant’s closure because of safety concerns over its precarious location near several major earthquake fault lines. Friends of the Earth, for example, has been fighting for the plant’s closure since the 1960s.

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ACLU Endorses ‘Adult Use of Marijuana Act’ Expected on November Ballot

June 20, 2016 by Source

In 2014, 73 percent of misdemeanor marijuana arrests are people under 20. Nearly 70 percent of arrests were people of color.

By ACLU San Diego / Imperial

imarijuana.com

Citing the continued widespread criminalization of young people of color through marijuana enforcement, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California announced it has endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“AUMA”) to control, regulate, and tax adult use, sale and cultivation of marijuana in California.

The measure is expected to qualify for the November state ballot.

Low-level marijuana possession was reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction in California in 2011, but marijuana law enforcement still results in thousands of arrests each year.

In 2011 to 2014, according to the California Department of Justice, law enforcement agencies made 60,000 marijuana arrests statewide. In 2014, young people under the age of 20 accounted for 73 percent of all misdemeanor marijuana arrests in the state. Nearly 70 percent of all marijuana arrests were of people of color.

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How Did Ocean Beach and Point Loma Vote in 2016 Primary?

June 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Vote Mayor Primary 2016

How did OB and the Peninsula vote in the Primary held last week? What was the breakdown in the mayoral race in Ocean Beach?

Check out these maps that show the winners in each precinct in OB and Point Loma for the various races.

Go to the original map site, and you can click on individual precincts to see the vote tallies and percentages for each candidates.

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New State Bureau that Regulates Medical Cannabis Sounds Like an Advocate

June 10, 2016 by Source
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State Medical Marijuana Officials Hold Hearing in San Diego

By Terrie Best /San Diego Americans for Safe Access / June 9, 2016

San Diego, CA – The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulations held a hearing June 9th as is required when crafting commercial regulations in the State of California. The trio of women who currently make up the bureau had already held events in Oakland, Humboldt and Riverside among other places. They were wrapping it up with San Diego.

The event was called a pre-regulation hearing. There were about 100 people in attendance and newly appointed Chief of the Bureau, Lori Ajax began the meeting at 11:19 in the Garcia Room at the Caltrans building on Taylor St. in Old Town.

The head of Narcotics at the District Attorney’s Office, Steve Walter sat in the front row.

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2016 Primary Election Results and Analysis for San Diego

June 9, 2016 by Doug Porter

Election Returns

Editor: The following election results and analysis were put together by Doug Porter on Wednesday, June 8th, for his column at San Diego Free Press – and all vote tallies are as of yesterday’s numbers.

By Doug Porter

It ain’t over ‘till it’s over. But it’s mostly over in San Diego. Most of the ballots for the June 2016 primary election have been tallied. The remaining 285,000 ballots uncounted as of Wednesday morning are provisional and late arriving mail-in ballots. A few close races may change, but if history is any guide, what you see in the way of results the day after the election is what you get.

A multi-year campaign for an increase in the local minimum wage came to a close as voters overwhelmingly approved City Proposition I. For me personally, and for tens of thousands of San Diego workers, the last item on the ballot was the most important one.

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“La Cucaracha” Cartoon Takes on The Donald

June 7, 2016 by Staff

La Cucaracha trump
Donald Trump is having a hard time everywhere he goes, it seems these days.

Even on the comic page.

On Monday, June 6th – D-Day, the cartoon “La Cucaracha” let him have it. It displays a Hitleresque blond figure raising his arm in a Nazi-type salute – with a large “D” on his hat.

The cartoon drawn by Lalo Alcaraz, has often brought out the ire of conservative readers, usually complaining of the “over-politicization of the comic pages” or of the “Latino-bias” of the artist.

This time Lalo – we think – has hit it on the head.

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Good Things Progressives Can Do Down-Ballot

June 6, 2016 by Jim Miller

Pro-Tip: Start at the Bottom of Your Ballot

Down-Ballot

By Jim Miller

While most of the attention is on the Presidential race this primary season, there are still some important things progressive voters can weigh in on down-ballot here in San Diego on June 7th that will do some good.

Here is a short list:

Vote Yes on Proposition I: Sure, $15 an hour is coming soon in California, but voting yes on Proposition I in San Diego will immediately lift the local minimum wage to $10.50 an hour (and eventually $11.50), giving a well-deserved raise and providing five much-needed sick days to over 170,000 hard working San Diegans. It will also right the wrong that was done by Mayor Faulconer and the Chamber of Commerce crew when they screwed local workers out of this necessary hand up.

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – Early June, 2016

June 2, 2016 by Staff
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* OB Featured in Latest CityBeat

* Point Loma Fire Station to Be Demolished and Remodeled
* Gunshot and Stabbing at Santa Cruz Cove
* Police Moving into Holiday Weekend and Shift Changes
* Lifeguard Stats for April
* OB Exposed! Winners

* OB Town Council Offers Community Grants

* Graffiti on OB Benches
* New Helm’s on Newport Gets Notice
* Local OB Bicyclist Mentioned in U-T on Wishes for More Than Bike Lanes
* Fund Raisers for Point Loma High Vice-Principal Battling Cancer
* Dia de Portugal Is Coming on June 11 in Point Loma
* Point Loma Summer Concerts on Schedule

 

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Robert Reich: Advice for Divided Democrats

June 2, 2016 by Source

Robert Reich 02

Plus: Bernie’s Policies Are the Answer to the Rise of the Far-Right

By Robert B. Reich / RobertReich.org

With the Democratic primaries grinding to a bitter end, I have suggestions for both Clinton and Sanders supporters that neither will like.

First, my advice to Clinton supporters: Don’t try to drum Bernie Sanders out of the race before Hillary Clinton officially gets the nomination (if she in fact does get it).

Some of you say Bernie should bow out because he has no chance of getting the nomination, and his continuing candidacy is harming Hillary Clinton’s chances.

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Obama Administration Approves Resumption of California Offshore Fracking

June 2, 2016 by Source
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By Dan Bacher

Claiming that fracking poses “no significant impact” to the environment, Obama administration officials on May 27 finalized their plans to allow oil companies to resume offshore fracking and acidizing in California’s Santa Barbara Channel.

The announcement from the two agencies responsible for oil drilling, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), ended a court-ordered settlement placing a moratorium on offshore fracking and acidizing for oil in the fish and wildlife-rich federal waters off California.

The two agencies reported they have completed a comprehensive environmental analysis evaluating the potential impacts from the use of “well stimulation treatments” – acidizing and fracking operations — on the 23 oil and gas platforms currently in operation on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore California.

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Nuclear Shutdown News May 2016 : Ripped Off California Ratepayers Struggle for Fairness Over San Onofre

June 1, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News May 2016 : Ripped Off California Ratepayers Struggle for Fairness Over San Onofre

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear power industry at home and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are fighting to create a nuclear free future. Here is our May issue:

California Nuclear Ratepayers Still Struggling For Justice Over San Onofre Shutdown Costs

On May 17, the Orange County Register ran the story, “How much should consumers pay for the San Onofre shutdown?”

As previously reported by Nuclear Shutdown News, in June 2003, the San Onofre nuclear power plant, located in northern San Diego County, permanently shut down, 20 years ahead schedule.
This followed a scandal involving gross mismanagement and duplicity by its majority owner, Southern California Edison.

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The McMansion Coming to an Ocean Beach or Point Loma Lot Next to You

May 31, 2016 by Source

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The Saga of the Controversial Froude Project at the San Diego Planning Commission

By Tom and Judy Parry

The decision by the San Diego Planning Commission was pretty clear: Five votes to allow a McMansion to go forward on our quiet Ocean Beach block of Froude Street, one vote to stop it.

Amid our disappointment, we’re allowing the lessons we learned to sink in. The one most frightening is that it can happen on any O.B. street with similar zoning, even if no McMansions are present, even if the entire block is dead set against it.

We live on Froude Street, between Voltaire and Greene streets. As we blogged before, a 50-parcel with one single-family house is about to be split into two 25-foot lots, each with a three-level residence filling the lot and pushing the 30-foot height limit.

Froude sits on the boundary of the Peninsula and Ocean Beach advisory planning boards. We live in the Peninsula district, where the planning board voted against the project 9 to 1. The Ocean Beach board, though their boundary line down the middle of the street is just 20 feet away, was never notified by the city and not allowed to vote. The reason? “We’re not required to [notify them].”

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Dream Big: Why Voting for Sanders Still Matters, Despite the Electoral Math

May 31, 2016 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

bernie sanders big ideaWhat struck me the most about the recent Sanders rally in National City was how much the crowd embodied the notion of the beloved community.

As opposed to the corporate media caricature of Sanders’ supporters as a group of mostly angry, white “Bernie bros,” this huge gathering of over ten thousand people was diverse in age, gender, sexuality, race, and class.

It was also a kind, gentle crowd that fell silent when Sanders, in a moving gesture, stopped his speech when …

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Your Right to Protest In San Diego

May 27, 2016 by Source

Free Speech Rights, Free Speech Zones, Interactions with Police, Resources and MORE

By the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties

peaceful protestThe right to join with fellow citizens in protest or peaceful assembly is critical to a functioning democracy.

But it is also unfortunately true that governments and police can violate this right—through the use of mass arrests, illegal use of force, criminalization of protest, and other means intended to thwart free public expression.

Standing up for your right to protest can be challenging, especially when demonstrations are met with confusion, excessive force, or violence. But knowing your rights is the most powerful tool you have against the stifling of your voice.

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#NeverTrumpSD Live Blog: Anti-Trump Day In San Diego

May 27, 2016 by Annie Lane

Trump free speech zones map from the San Diego U-T

Editor: In an important update, San Diego Police have backed off their earlier threats of arresting any demonstrator outside the so-called “free speech zones”, and now say people can demonstrate outside of the designated zones, but they must follow laws and cannot block traffic.

The day has come.

Donald Trump is rallying in San Diego at the Convention Center at 2 p.m. (doors open at 11 a.m.). The San Diego Free Press – the OB Rag’s associates – will be live blogging today’s events. We’ll be pulling pictures and updates from people on the front lines who use the hashtag #NeverTrumpSD or you can send them directly to contact@sandiegofreepres.org.

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The Very Latest on San Diego’s “Crazy Anti-Trump Day” on Friday

May 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Here is the very, very latest in what’s happening on San Diego’s “Crazy Anti-Trump Day”, Friday May 27th.

More groups have announced they are mobilizing their members to protest Trump’s appearance in downtown. They include the LGBT community, San Diego Human Rights organizations and our very own Light Brigade – which is shining on tonight, Thursday.

The seven-or so networks that have been organizing their protest continue to mobilize, and are showing signs of cooperating with one another.

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ACLU Report: Alarming Cases of Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse by California Police Departments

May 25, 2016 by Source

Policy Brief Exposes Loophole that Police Use to Profit from Innocent, Vulnerable Californians

By ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties

aclu twitter logoThe American Civil Liberties Union of California released a policy brief on Thursday, May 19, Civil Asset Forfeiture: Profiting from California’s Most Vulnerable, examining civil asset forfeiture abuse by California law enforcement agencies, a practice that greatly impacts communities of color and low-income Californians.

Under federal asset forfeiture laws, the government can legally and permanently forfeit a person’s property and money without charging the person with a crime, or seeking a conviction.

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“Friday Is Going to Be One Crazy Anti-Trump Day in San Diego”

May 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for “Friday Is Going to Be One Crazy Anti-Trump Day in San Diego”

NEW UPDATES (as of 5/26/16) – see “The Very Latest ….”

It’s going to be literally one crazy, anti-Trump day in downtown San Diego on Friday, May 27th. So much is going on that it boggles the mind to try to imagine everything.

First, of course, Donal Trump is arriving at the San Diego Convention Center to speak to his throngs around 2pm. And coming out to see and hear him, of course, will be probably thousands of ticket-holders. There will be long lines of them snaking around the Convention Center – which undoubtedly will be off-limits to protesters. Except those protesters in line with tickets.

Second, there will be thousands of protesters coming out to demonstrate against Trump and all that he stands for. There’s at least six different networks or groups mobilizing their supporters to show Trump that San Diegans will not stand for him.

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Planning Commission to Hear Appeal of City’s Approval of Controversial Project on Froude Street – May 26th

May 23, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Planning Commission to Hear Appeal of City’s Approval of Controversial Project on Froude Street – May 26th

This Thursday, May 26th, the San Diego Planning Commission will hear an appeal of the City’s decision to approve a controversial project slated for the 2200 block of Froude Street in Ocean Beach.

The project – two multistory residences – has outraged neighbors enough that they have supported the effort to appeal the decision by the City’s Development Services to okay it. The project includes:

“the demolition of an existing single-family structure and the construction of two new 1, 814 square-foot homes each over a 1,073 square-foot basement/two car garage on two legal lots.”

This is at 2257 Froude Street between Voltaire and Greene.

Here’s why there’s controversy – besides the bulk, style, etc of the project itself – :

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San Diego Becomes Ground Zero in Presidential Contests (For a Few Days, Anyway)

May 23, 2016 by Doug Porter

Via the Sanders campaign

Sanders, Clinton and Trump, Oh My! – Plus Updates on Mayor and City Council Races

By Doug Porter

As May slides into June, enthusiasm about election contests big and small is sweeping San Diego. Hope, an elusive feeling in an era of pessimism, is in the air.

Democrats Senator Bernie Sanders and ex-President Bill Clinton both campaigned in the area. Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump is holding a rally at the Convention Center on Friday, prompting promises of protests from activists throughout the region.

Away from the bright lights and big crowds, campaigning for local offices has reached a fevered pitch. Democrats, environmentalists, and organized labor are providing volunteers, who are going door-to-door in City Council contests, backing up direct mail campaigns. Republicans are carpet bombing the city with money for TV ads, slick (and often questionable) mailers and paid canvassers.

The good news from my perspective is that early ballot returns show a high level of interest in the primary from Democratic voters.

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UPDATED: San Diego Mobilizes Against Trump – Due Here Friday, May 27

May 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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NEW UPDATES (as of 5/26/16) – see “The Very Latest ….”

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UPDATED: Four San Diego Networks or Groups Planning Protests for May 27th Trump Rally

San Diego is mobilizing against Donald Trump’s appearance later this week, when he stages a rally on Friday at the Convention Center.

At least four networks or groups are organizing protests outside the Trump rally. One of the 3 has also stated its intention of organizing something inside his event. One of the groups is mobilizing protesters from the LA area as well. And, of course, each network has their own facebook page.

The networks include:

The Love Trumps Hate Solidarity Network

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Kamala Harris Wins OB Rag Senate Poll

May 20, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Kamala Harris Wins OB Rag Senate Poll

Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General, won the OB Rag poll on the US Senate race for the state. In a field of 2 Democrats and 3 Republicans, Harris ran at the top with 49.3% of the vote, with Republican Tom Del Beccaro coming in a far second with 18.8%.

The other Democrat, Loretta Sanchez, received 5.8%, and the other Republicans George Sundheim came in with 2.9% and Ron Unz also had 2.9%.

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Progressive San Diego Voter Guide for June 2016 Primary

May 19, 2016 by Doug Porter

imageBy Doug Porter

Over the past few months the San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag have reported on the candidates and causes central to the June 2016 primary elections.

We have combined our research and analyses with information from public sources to create a progressive voter guide for electoral contests appearing on ballots in the San Diego region.

This guide includes links to candidate websites, symbols indicating endorsements and a short overview of contests, along with links to our reporting.

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The Pot Wars 2016: The End to Marijuana Prohibition in California Is Near

May 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Pot Wars 2016: The End to Marijuana Prohibition in California Is Near

The war on marijuana continues even at mid-point of 2016 – the year that California voters will end the marijuana prohibition in the state. While California voters get set to vote to legalize the recreational use of pot, there are good signs and bad signs around the state as the Pot Wars continue.

Right now, a majority of Californians favor legalization.

The folks who have been organizing the more successful of the legalize recreational marijuana initiatives have gathered more than 600,000 signatures, far exceeding the 350,000 needed. It’s a certainty that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act will be on California’s November ballot. This is the initiative that has support from California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and billionaire Facebook co-founder Sean Parker. And many marijuana policy reform groups also support it.

So, what does it do?

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The California Way of Poverty

May 16, 2016 by Jim Miller

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By Jim Miller

Last week, I pondered the obscene spectacle of holding a mega-concert catering to the wealthy in the Southern California desert town of Indio where a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.

The truth is that events like this that underline the contrast between the heedless luxury of the affluent with the deprivation of the poor are not the exception to the rule, but rather, a basic fact of everyday life in our era of historic economic inequality. It’s just the way we live now.

And in sunny California, San Diego in particular, the poor are accustomed to watching the party from the outside.

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California DMV Takes Important First Steps Toward Improving Voter Registration Services

May 16, 2016 by Source

Although problems persist, voter registration for 2016 elections will be easier for some

ACLU San Diego

acluThe California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) took the necessary first steps toward improving voter registration services offered online and at its 174 field offices across the state, though it still will need to address some major issues.

Beginning this month, people who are eligible and affirmatively choose to register when applying for or renewing a driver license or identification card at a DMV field office will: …

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“As a California Primary Voter – I’m Pretty Pissed Off!”

May 13, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for “As a California Primary Voter – I’m Pretty Pissed Off!”

By OB Joe

You know it. I’m a California Primary voter and I’m pretty pissed off!

The Primary is already over – and I haven’t even voted yet. And neither have my fellow 8 million California voters.

The candidates have been selected – yet, the largest state in the Union has not spoken.

Oh, I know, there are some who still think Bernie can get the nomination – but the real math is not there – and I’m a Bernie supporter! I observed an MSNBC breakdown of the numbers – and Sanders would have to score REAL big in all the remaining primaries – short of a miracle – it will be Hillary Clinton for the Democrats.

I really wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Socialist – and I was among the 13,000 San Diegans who came out to support him when he was in town not too long ago. But by now, it’s been decided.

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Oligarchy Rocks at the Desert Trip Festival

May 9, 2016 by Jim Miller

raving mic

By Jim Miller

This easy life knows no pity.

Recently Nelson D. Schwartz of the New York Times did an interesting feature on luxury tourism on cruise ships, “In an Era of Privilege, Not Everyone is in the Same Boat,” that described the experience of travelers as “a money based caste system” catering to the rich rather than the unwashed masses.

While there is clearly nothing novel about elite travel, the story noted that “What is new is just how far big American companies are now willing to go to pamper the biggest spenders.”

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Marijuana Legalization Looks Like It’s Headed to the California Ballot

May 4, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Marijuana Legalization Looks Like It’s Headed to the California Ballot

Initiative Has Enough Signatures to Appear on November Ballots

By Emily Gray Brosious / Extract Sun-Times / 05/04/2016

Adult Use of Marijuana Act powers forward in California.

The group leading efforts to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in California will announce Wednesday, May 4, that it has collected enough signatures to put its legalization initiative before voters on the November ballot, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act has gathered more than 600,000 signatures, far exceeding the 350,000 needed. It has also received backing from billionaire Facebook co-founder Sean Parker and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, in addition to the support of many other marijuana policy reform groups.

The Act would establish a regulatory system for recreational cannabis, modeled after the state’s medical marijuana regulatory system that passed in 2015.

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