It’s now official: The Secretary of State has announced that in November Californians will get to decide whether or not to legalize and tax marijuana (for people 21 and older). Voters approved the medical use of marijuana in 1996, so it will be interesting to see if Californians’ views have evolved to include recreational use. Here is the official description of the initiative from the Secretary of State’s web site:
“Allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Permits local governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of marijuana to people 21 years old or older. Prohibits people from possessing marijuana on school grounds, using it in public, smoking it while minors are present, or providing it to anyone under 21 years old. Maintains current prohibitions against driving while impaired. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Savings of up to several tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders.”
The marijuana initiative is only the second ballot to qualify for the November election. The campaign to get this measure on the ballot easily collected the necessary 433,971 valid petition signatures.
While we relayed here about the joint hearing on Proposition 17 before the California Assembly Insurance Committee and the Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee, Capital Alert reports that prior to the official airing at the Legislature, opponents orchestrated a press-conference with a chicken to poke fun of Mercury’s Chairman George Joseph. Joseph was not expected to attend the hearing, even though he has spent millions supporting the measure. Instead, Mercury Insurance Vice President Robert Houlihan was slated to testify.
Testimony is bound to be heated as opposing sides debate about what the proposition will actually do and its ultimate effects on customers.
If you’re interested in viewing the official ballot labels for Propositions 13-17, which voters will face in June, they are viewable here from the Secretary of State’s office. The labels account for changes that were required by court orders.
The legal battle over Proposition 8 took a new turn on Tuesday when the ACLU indicated it is filing an emergency appeal of a federal judge's order requiring them to release documents from its political campaign against the proposition. Consequently, the ACLU is asking the presiding judge on the case, Vaughn Walker, to hold off on the proceedings. Walker had previously rejected the ACLU’s claim that such documents are protected as free speech. It’s possible that the trial could be slowed down now due to the legal disputes.
Are you ready for some football….in a new stadium? The San Francisco 49ers are, as they’ve already pumped $1.4 million in funds to support a campaign to build a new stadium in the city of Santa Clara. Mercury News reports that the stadium is set to cost $937 million, so the 49ers are intent on giving voters a bit of persuasion to pass Measure J on the June 8th ballot. If passed, the NFL stadium would seat 68,500 people and would be adjacent to the Great America theme park. Mercury News reports the details of the measure as follows:
“Voters in June are being asked to approve the stadium deal, which calls for a package of $114 million in public contributions to the project, including $42 million in redevelopment money, a new parking garage and a special tax on guests at the city's eight hotels.”
Opponents of the measure have formed the group Santa Clara Plays Fair, but so far they have only raised $3,000. They contend they don’t need money to talk, just their voices. The 49ers remain unapologetic about spending so much thus far. Supporters suggest that a new stadium would bring millions of dollars to the area even if initially it comes with a hefty price tag to build.
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- The Latest: Secretary of State Updates
- Smoke and Mirrors: New Prop 30 Ad
- Fact Checkers Counter First Prop 30 Ads
- Voters Feeling Undecided on Tax Measures? New PPIC Poll Shows Shaky Voter Support
- New Prop 32 Ad
- Opponents of Prop 32 Outspend Supporters
- Prop 38 Backer Prepares for “Big Air War”