California is moving towards full legalization of marijuana. 2010 will see a ballot iniative to allow small amounts to be sold for recreational as well as medicinal use. It has the full backing of Republican Governor and former pot smoker Arnold Schwarzenegger. Moreover, the individual leading the ballot initiative is a Schwarzenegger friend, and is also a Republican.
From SF correspondent Richard Paddon, Sphere @ AOL:
Richard Lee, the founder and president of Oaksterdam University, is a veteran activist who also is sponsoring a statewide ballot measure that would allow adults 21 or older to possess and grow relatively small amounts of marijuana. The initiative also would allow cities and counties to tax and regulate marijuana sales and cultivation.Lee, who suffers from an illness that leaves him wheelchair bound, is a legal medicinal marijuana user.
Lee calls himself a "Libertarian Republican." He owns several other businesses in the neighborhood, [Oakland] including a medical marijuana dispensary. He has donated more than $1 million to the initiative campaign.
Supporters of the measure have collected 680,000 signatures, far more than the 433,971 required. Lee plans to submit the petitions this month and hopes to qualify for the November ballot. The university's old building a block away will become campaign headquarters.