Of all the states attempting legalization in 2016, none will be watched more than California. And no marijuana legalization measure is going to get more attention in CA than the Sean Parker-backed Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).
The latest swing of support comes from board members behind the group ReformCA, who have had trouble securing the financial and activist backing that AUMA has received. So instead of competing, the prevailing wisdom at ReformCA is that cooperation is in order.
With heavy activist backing and a ton of money (Sean Parker is a billionaire), AUMA seems poised to bring recreational legalization to California. Of course anything can happen, and opponents are already harping on the looming takeover from “Big Pot.” As in “Sean Parker is evil because he has money.”
I apologize for beating a dead horse here, but legalization takes money. Gathering the signatures needed to make the ballot alone takes a professional budget. If you make the ballot, then the real fight begins. That will involve money for advertising and “getting out the vote” efforts.
The AUMA itself was recently amended to include higher legal limits on concentrates and include protections for child custody involving medical marijuana patients, concessions to the defectors from Reform CA.
Various groups coming together is likely the only way recreational legalization will happen in CA. Multiple groups fighting for the same endorsements and the same financial backing are doomed to failure. Everyone coming together behind one plan can make real change happen.
Since the failure of Prop 19 in 2010, California has sat like a hole in the map of legalized states. They should have been first, the way they were with medical marijuana. It looks like 2016 may be the year they finally get it done.
But it’s going to be a long, hard battle.