California Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Initiative (2012)

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A Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act (#11-0011, #11-0039) was approved for circulation in California with a circulation deadline of March 26, 2012. However, its sponsors did not submit petition signatures to election officials by the deadline.

The initiative, if it had qualified for the ballot and been approved by the state's voters, would have decriminalized marijuana in California for those older than 21. It would also have taxed and regulated the cultivation, production and sale of marijuana using standards similar to those used in taxing and regulating the grape and wine industry.[1]

Steve Kubby, a supporter of the initiative who is known as the co-author of Proposition 215, said, "We’re taking something that’s unregulated and we’re replacing it with a known successful program implemented by the California alcohol beverage control board. We know it works great with wine. It’s already in place."[1]

Under the terms of the proposed initiative, law enforcement officers in California would have been prohibited from cooperating with federal DEA agents.[2]

A poll of likely voters taken in January 2012 gave supports of the initiative hope that they could attract major donors to provide the funding that was necessary to collect signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot. Sponsor Steve Kubby said of the favorable poll numbers, "That shows funders we can win. Anytime you're polling over 60 percent, you command anyone's attention."[3] On the other hand, Peter Lewis, who often funds marijuana-related ballot initiative campaigns, said in an email to a cannabis activist in late January, "I have done considerable research which leads me to conclude that the time has not yet come for legalization. I believe that if the issue you want to pass isn't polling well above 60% in favor before the election, there is no chance to pass it. California is not there yet."[4]

Similar initiatives

Website logo of the "Regulate Marijuana Like Wine" campaign

The "Regulate Marijuana Like Wine" initiative was not the only marijuana-related initiative vying for a spot on California's November 6, 2012 statewide ballot. The others are:

Because multiple marijuana-related initiatives are in circulation in California, they are all experiencing difficulty raising the funds necessary to qualify for the ballot. Steve Collett, who supports the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Initiative, says, "We're all chasing the same dollars."[5]

A group of people closely associated with the Proposition 19 effort, including Richard Lee, had also indicated that they might attempt to qualify a marijuana legalization initiative for the 2012 ballot.[6] However, in September, Lee told a group at the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo in Oakland that this effort was falling apart: "It’s pretty much dead. The funders didn’t come through."[7]

Text of measure

See also: Ballot titles, summaries and fiscal statements for California's 2012 ballot propositions

This is the ballot language for Version 11-0039.


The ballot title is:

Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute.

Official summary

The official summary provided by the Attorney General of California's office to describe the initiative says:

"Decriminalizes marijuana sales, distribution, possession, use, cultivation, and transportation. Dismisses pending court actions inconsistent with its provisions. Retains laws forbidding use while driving or in workplace. Establishes regulation of commercial marijuana trade to match regulation of wine and beer. Allows noncommercial production up to 24 flowering plants per household, or more with local approval. Authorizes retail sales of marijuana with THC level of .3% or more to persons 21 or older; if less, no age limit. Directs state and local officials to not cooperate with federal enforcement of marijuana laws. Bans development of genetically modified marijuana."

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office says:

"The fiscal effects of this measure are subject to considerable uncertainty depending on: (1) the extent to which the federal government continues to enforce federal marijuana laws and (2) the specific taxes applied to marijuana. Savings of potentially several tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in net additional tax revenues related to the production and sale of marijuana products."

Polling information

See also: Polls, 2012 ballot measures

Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates conducted a poll of 800 likely voters in January 2012 that indicated majority support for the proposal.[3]

Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
January 2012 Fairbank, Maslin 62% 35% 3% 800

Path to the ballot

See also: California signature requirements

External links

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