State election officials announced Wednesday that an initiative to legalize marijuana will be on the November ballot, triggering what will likely be an expensive, divisive and much-watched campaign to decide whether California will again lead the nation in softening drug laws.
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Polls have indicated that a majority of voters in California want marijuana legalized, but the margin is not enough to ensure the initiative will win. Two years ago, opponents defeated an attempt to relax the state's drug laws despite being outspent. "It's always easier for people to say no than to say yes for an initiative," said Mark Baldassare, the pollster for the Public Policy Institute of California. "Generally, all it takes is for people to find one reason to say no."
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But the measure, known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, goes further, allowing cities and counties to adopt ordinances that would authorize the cultivation, transportation and sale of marijuana, which could be taxed to raise revenues. It's this feature of the initiative that supporters hope will draw support from voters who are watching their local governments jettison employees and programs in the midst of a severe budget crisis.
Read the rest of the LA Times story here.
Watch Judge Andrew Napolitano explain why marijuana should be legalized.
This campaign will lead to strange bedfellows. For example.