Saturday, January 9, 2016

An update on efforts to legalize cannabis in California in 2016

Gary Johnson used to be the Republican governor of New Mexico and was the 2012 Libertarian Party candidate for President.  Until recently, he was President and CEO of Cannabis Sativa, Inc., a company whose stated goal is “to brand and market the highest-quality cannabis products available today—and to innovate the future of casual cannabis.” 

He recently resigned this position in the burgeoning cannabis industry in order to run for President again.    

Asked what impact the candidacy of this proponent of cannabis legalization might have on efforts to legalize cannabis in California in 2016, renowned cannabis defense attorney Bruce Margolin told Etopia News that Governor Johnson “is a good guy.  He’s down for the reality” of the need to legalize cannabis.

Margolin also made reference to the Sean Parker-supported cannabis legalization initiative, which, he said, would allow qualified individuals to possess up to one ounce of the controversial plant material and to cultivate up to six live plants. 

He also mentioned the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) which has higher limits and does more to legalize and encourage the cultivation of industrial hemp. 

Patrick Moore, a member of the Managing Board of Directors of CCHI 2016, criticized the Parker initiative as “insider legislation,” that was “overly regulatory.”  Asked about the impact of that proposed legislation on the original Proposition 215, which legalized medical cannabis in California, Moore said that “Parker’s bill would annihilate it.”  Parker's proposition, he added, would “destroy cannabis culture.”

According to Moore, the campaign to qualify the CCHI measure now has “500 volunteers” working to collect the required 365,000 valid signatures by April 20, 2016 (“four-twenty”).  So far, he said, they have collected “up to 100,000.”  Several companies are working on this effort, he explained, including some professional signature-gathering firms working “on-spec” and others refusing to consider being paid who are working “pro bono.”

Moore was vehement in his support for legalizing and exploiting the economic potential of industrial hemp, saying that it could be a 1-5 trillion dollar per year opportunity for California, especially for farms in the Central Valley.

Moore said that for most of the 200,000 years humans have been in existence “80% of their diet was hemp seed.”  He referred to research by undergraduates at the University of Alberta, Canada, which resulted in the invention of a hemp-based super-capacitor “a thousand times more powerful with a thousandth of the inputs.”  He said that “hemp houses” are already being built in France.

He also cited recent hemp-positive developments in Germany, where, he said, Mercedes Benz now makes vehicles that contain 30-35 per cent hemp products, in their seating and interior fixtures.  Not to be out-done, BMW has produced a model made 60% of hemp, he added.

Moore sounded confident that the CCHI would qualify for the November, 2016, ballot.  If both the CCHI and the Parker initiative appear on the ballot, and both are approved by a majority of the voters, the one with the highest vote total will go into effect.

For more about the legalization of cannabis, visit the Facebook page of The Path to Cannabis Legalization. 

No comments: