Capitol Alert

California marijuana legalization measure on November ballot

Californians’ November ballot will include an initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, with the coming campaign likely to reverberate nationwide given the state’s size and implications for similar efforts elsewhere.

A random sample of more than 606,000 signatures turned in by supporters last month cleared the required threshold, according to an updated tally posted Tuesday by the Secretary of State’s Office.

“Today marks a fresh start for California, as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself,” Jason Kinney, a spokesman for California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act, said in a statement.

The fall measure comes six years after the narrow defeat of Proposition 19, another pot legalization initiative. Unlike that effort, the latest initiative has the support of multiple groups and officials, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, with major financial backing from billionaire entrepreneur Sean Parker.

Various law enforcement groups oppose legalization but have been heavily outraised so far.

Tuesday’s qualifications bring to 12 the number of measures set to go before voters this fall, with election officials continuing to check signatures turned in by supporters of another six proposed initiatives. Thursday is the qualification deadline.

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