Leading California Marijuana Legalization Groups Won't Seek 2014 Ballot Initiative

By Associated Press
|  Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014  |  Updated 5:42 AM PDT
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A coalition of leading drug reform groups has decided against pursuing a ballot initiative this year to legalize the adult use of marijuana in California.

Drug Policy Alliance Deputy Executive Director Stephen Gutwillig said Tuesday that while polling suggests California voters would support such a measure, members of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform want to wait until 2016 so they would have more time to raise money and build public support.

The coalition already had the Secretary of State's clearance to circulate petitions for a legalization initiative, but won't proceed in gathering the signatures needed to qualify it for the November ballot.

A different group also has a legalization measure pending, but the coalition led by the Drug Policy Alliance includes politically powerful organizations such as the ACLU, the NAACP and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

The same coalition led the effort to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington last year.

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