A few weeks before the deadline for California ballot initiatives, the effort to put a marijuana legalization measure before voters in the general election is in disarray as the federal government cracks down on medical cannabis and activists are divided on their goals, the Los Angeles Times reports. When legalization got 46 percent of the vote in 2010, proponents took heart at the near-miss.
They vowed to put a well-funded measure to legalize marijuana on the 2012 ballot, when the presidential election would presumably draw more young voters. Instead, five different camps have filed paperwork for five separate initiatives. One has given up already and the other four are teetering, vying for last-minute funding from a handful of potential donors. Backers need more than $2 million to hire professional petitioners to get the 700,000-plus signatures they need by April 20 to qualify for the ballot. They are getting little aid from medical marijuana dispensaries that have profited from laws that pot activists advocated in earlier years.