Will 2010 be the "Year of Living Green?" Including the year that California voters pass an initiative to legalize marijuana for personal use?
Yesterday, the backers of the "Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010"--- which would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults, allow limited growing on private property, and permit local governments to decide whether to legalize and tax pot sales --- stated they would submit more signatures than required to qualify the measure for the November 2010 ballot.
Coincidently, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by several members of the City Council, a 15,000 square foot warehouse-type store stocked with marijuana growing supplies opened in Oakland, California. "IGROW" does not sell marijuana, but has everything else an experienced or novice medical marijuana grower would need and more, including "Bud Candy," "Grow Big," "Bud Ignitor." The only catch is that you must have a "pot card" to validate you as a medical patient. Under current state law, Californians can legally grow and possess pot for medical purposes.
Broader legalization of marijuana use got a boost in April when a Field Poll found that 56 percent of California voters supported legalizing and taxing marijuana to help bridge the state budget deficit. The measure is not without some controversy, though. Law enforcement associations and religious groups oppose it, arguing marijuana is harmful and immoral.
Last summer, voters passed a measure in Oakland to pass and regulate businesses like IGROW, and the City is hoping for a big return in tax dollars. After November, IGROW may just have to become a chain.