With four marijuana legalization initiatives vying for the California ballot, one thing is clear: All four sets of reforms are better than the state’s current prohibition. The initials and names are confusing, but the core question is, which one or ones will voters get to vote on?
The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) has been gathering signatures the longest. TheMarijuana Control, Legalization and Regulation (MCLR) is the longest and took in the greatest amount of direct input from the public. A third version was drafted by a group of long-time reform activists, including remnants of the unsuccessful 2010 Prop 19 campaign. None of these has visible financial backing to make the ballot.
The fourth and most likely candidate to emerge came out of left field with funding from the late philanthropist and cannabis reformer, Peter Lewis. As a farewell gift to California before he died last year, Lewis and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) had an initiative drawn up that protects medical marijuana laws, puts the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) in charge of commercial licensing but not home grows, attempts to correct mistakes made in Washington State, addresses the recent federal policy outlined by the Obama administration and searches for middle ground between the reform community and the more mainstream voters who may not know much about cannabis but do hold the electoral balance in their hands. The Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act (CRTM) was filed December 18, 2013.