My blog is dedicated to the exploration of industrial hemp in America including the rich history of all forms of cannabis, the evolving law and politics of hemp and marijuana, the many products made from cannabis and the capacity, real or imagined, of hemp to re-industrialize rural America and revitalize the American family farm.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
California 2014 Cannabis And Hemp Prohibition Repeal Ballot Initiative Update
Almost one year has passed since SaveCannabis.org publicly began the effort to place a Cannabis and Hemp Prohibition Repeal Initiative on the 2014 California ballot. The seeds of the plan were primarily initiated by the failure of Prop 19 and the failure by California advocates to coordinate their efforts to make the ballot in 2012. In fact, when it was known that there was going to be 2, then 3, then…6 different efforts in 2012, it became apparent that they were all doomed to fail. And they did. Split advocacy and the resulting split funding efforts were not a winning solution in California. What was needed was an attempt to consolidate.
Over this time, SaveCannabis.org made the most significant effort possible within the California movement to coordinate and unify all supporters. The website forum was utilized continuously to offer information, solicit input and make sure above all that everyone in California had an opportunity to participate in the Initiative development process. We reached out to those who were supportive and especially those who weren’t. We offered a public forum for everyone to participate and voice their opinions. We held meetings and conferences and reached out directly to all sides in the hopes of working together toward a mutual goal.
The process began with a single page base document that was posted to the forum. This was the first step on what has become in many ways an historical journey. According to input from several political advisers and legal experts, what was evolving was a thoroughly researched and legally vetted document created in a manner had never been done before.
SaveCannabis.org utilized the email forum and release of the companion wiki-based site Help.SaveCannabis.org to create the first true open-source generated California State Ballot Initiative. Grassroots development in the truest sense of the term. There has never been a document of this detail and complexity created for a State ballot utilizing the open-source technique to this extent. By essentially allowing THE PEOPLE to create, edit and directly participate in the writing process, history has once again been made in California.
In an age where high tech social and mass media tools now offer real-time information flow, this was the most practical and unifying (and now in hindsight, obvious) technique to achieve success. That success is now a reality in the form of a working final draft soon ready for submission to the State.
One of the biggest challenges has been the continuing effort to coordinate the existing Cannabis and Hemp supporters. It is not uncommon for the Movement reaction to unification to be cautious and move slowly until there is a crisis, then madly rush to create documents, argue issues, struggle mightily to get a consensus agreement on whatever the issue is, and then do nothing unless forced to at the last minute. The end result is often weak preparation, limited communication and coordination, and many times an example of amateurs attempting to play with the pros. Through no fault of some very skilled and dedicated advocates and legal experts sincerely attempting to do their best, winning and success have been a crapshoot at best.
Through patience, persistence, staying true to a consistent stance and always keeping our eyes on the prize, SaveCannabis,org has been able to overcome the majority of the internal challenges. There is still much to do, but the results of almost a full year of drafting and vetting now offer something concrete for everyone to support and we trust it will become easier every day.
Everyone connected to SaveCannabis.org wishes to reach out once again to all Californians. As we maintain our objective and open-source support of Cannabis and Hemp Prohibition Repeal, we once again invite your input and suggestions for the Cannabis and Hemp Freedom Act of 2014.
By necessity, there is a very short time left for the editing process in order to meet the 2014 ballot deadline. The document will be locked for final editing by our legal team very soon. It will then be presented to the Secretary of the State of California for processing. If anyone is still reluctant to take part in this historic drive to freedom for California Cannabis and Hemp supporters, please put aside whatever reasons may be driving you to resist and consider the many positive changes you can support with this effort. Please take the time right now to communicate your thoughts and concerns directly to us or through the forum.
All of us are being given a wonderful yet time-restrictive opportunity. We can provide support for the thousands of patients, prisoners, families and jobless who would be greatly aided by this effort and the hope and compassion it brings. We feel an obligation to do everything we can for all of them. Prohibition Repeal is a winnable option for California. Arguments against a 2014 Initiative campaign are no longer valid. Reputable polling across the U.S. reveals increasing favor by well over the majority in support of medical cannabis use, and finally many polls show over 50% in favor of legal adult use. California is in agreement and positioned for success. Now is the time to take action.