ReformCA Coalition Storms the State to Legalize Marijuana in 2016

UPDATE: ReformCA will hold its final state roundtable on June 16, 2015 from 6pm - 8:30pm in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway in Oakland. RSVP

June 2015 - Plans are proceeding apace for a California unity initiative to legalize marijuana for adult use in November 2016. A statewide coalition of reform groups, including Cal NORML, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, DPA, MPP, LEAP, ASA, SSDP, Emerald Growers Association, the California Cannabis Industry Association, NAACP, William Velazquez Institute, UFCW and others are planning to file a comprehensive initiative with the Attorney General’s office later this summer.

Operating under the banner of ReformCA.com, CCPR has been actively preparing for the drafting process since last year, conducting polling, public forums and meetings with stakeholders, officials, attorneys and experts.

While six other cannabis initiatives have already been filed by independent groups, none have demonstrated the same degree of resources or preparation. Because such work is essential for a successful statewide campaign, and it would be disastrous to confuse the voters with more than one initiative in 2016, Cal NORML is 100% committed to the ReformCA.com campaign.

Before submitting an initiative, ReformCA.com is waiting for input from Lt. Governor Newsom’s Blue Ribbon Commission, which has been holding public hearings on marijuana legalization. Newsom has stated that he will support a 2016 initiative, provided it is the “right” one. The BRC report is not expected until summer. See: www.safeandsmartpolicy.org.

The initiative coalition is also closely monitoring any action the state legislature takes this year on pending bills to regulate medical marijuana. If the legislature fails to enact an acceptable bill this year, it will be incumbent on the initiative to do so. The deadline for passing legislation is August 31.


ReformCA team members at a roundtable in West Hollywood to gather public input on the 2016 initiative.


In the meantime, ReformCA.com has hosted public meetings around the state to discuss the initiative with concerned supporters in San Diego, LA, Alameda, Orange, Riverside, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Nevada and Humboldt counties, plus Fresno and San Luis Obispo.

Unlike 2010, when widespread misgivings were expressed about the Prop. 19 campaign, ReformCA has encountered an upswell of grassroots sentiment that now is the time for Californians to come together and legalize in 2016.

On April 20th, ReformCA.com sponsored a “thunderclap” on Twitter, which reached over 1.5 million social media accounts with the message, “It’s 4:20 on #420. Time to bring legalized cannabis for adults to California.”

ReformCA.com has so far invested $500,000 in its campaign. Over $1 million more will be needed for the petition gathering, which should begin this autumn, plus several million more for the election campaign.

Cal NORML encourages friends and members to join us in supporting CCPR’s 2016 effort by visiting ReformCA.com. You can also like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @Ready4ReformCA. Donations can be sent to: Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform 1734 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA 94612.

ReformCA Goals for 2016 Initiative

1. Protect medical cannabis patients and encourage safe access.
2. Make possession and personal use cultivation of cannabis legal for adults (up to a limit).
3. Provide California new tax revenues from adult use cannabis sales and business.
4. Designate cannabis as an agricultural product and encourage sustainable and environmentally sound practices.
5. Eliminate felony penalties for minor, non-violent marijuana offenses.
6. Allow adults to consume on private property where allowed.
7. Adhere to the eight federal enforcement priorities: prohibit sales to children; prevent diversion to other states; prevent enriching gangs and violent cartels or using legal sales to cover for trafficking; prevent drugged driving, illegal activity, and trespass grows, as well as possession or use on federal property.