Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fabled attorney Bruce Margolin is “down for the cause” and hoping to forge a consensus on recreational cannabis legalization in California

Bruce Margolin, a criminal defense attorney who spends his days in and out of court trying to keep others out of jail because of alleged cannabis-related legal issues, has been working to negotiate a consensus version of the initiative that could legalize cannabis for recreational use in California in 2016. 

He called your correspondent’s attention to the efforts to create that consensus by, whose website provides an infrastructure for an online conversation about all aspects of the initiative-to-be.

He recently met with representatives of Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, states with a record of successful recreational cannabis legalization, to glean knowledge from them based on their experiences with the legalization process.

He pointed out that while he hopes for a single consensus initiative going forward, he is concerned that a proliferation of variations of legalization initiatives may dilute what is emerging as a strong tide of support for cannabis legalization in California, as demonstrated by the results of the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll on the subject, which you can read about here. 

For more about this poll, as well as news about California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom’s commission on cannabis legalization, click here.

Margolin pointed out that, due to the low turnout in the last gubernatorial election, it will take fewer signatures to qualify a ballot initiative in the current electoral cycle, possibly making it easy enough for several cannabis legalization measures to qualify for the ballot.  He referred to the City of Los Angeles’ recent election on medical cannabis dispensaries, which featured more than one option and ended up with a result that not everyone thinks was optimal.

It would be ironic if recreational cannabis legalization proponents are unable to unite to take advantage of the shift in public opinion towards their point of view and none of the proposed initiatives qualifies for the ballot or can win a majority of votes once submitted to the voters.  Bruce Margolin is working hard to avoid that irony.

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