The California Cannabis Health and Hemp Initiative is not new news, varying forms of the text and concept have been submitted as ballot initiatives by Jack Herer and later his friends and supporters since the 1980’s in California. The mission of the initiative is fairly clear, to re-legalize cannabis in the many forms it will benefit our society and economy. Jack Herer of course was the author of the Emperor Wears No Clothes, a powerful book highly recommended to dispel some myths of prohibition and present a case of decriminalization. Jack passed away in 2010, but the decades of work that he gave to the cannabis community have been monumental in ushering in a new generation of activists.
The latest incarnation of the hemp initiative’s full text can be found at CCHHI2012.org, and they need signatures to get this initiative on the November 2012 ballot. The deadline to turn in under 800,000 registered California voter signatures is April 20th, at 5pm. Some dispensaries and other businesses across the state will allow you to sign on their premises, or use CCHHI2012.org to find a place close to you.
The California Cannabis Health and Hemp Initiative, if successful in gaining a space on a the ballot, will put to vote in California legalizing cannabis for industrial, medicinal, nutritional and “euphoric” uses. Concentrates, extracts, derivatives, and particles are all specifically protected, unlike California’s current grey area with Prop 215 and SB 420. Medicinal marijuana will remain available to patients of all ages with proper medical validation, and “euphoric” use of cannabis would include personal use for adults 21 years of age or older. Personal use under the CCHHI allows for the annual production of 99 flowering female plants and 12 pounds of dried cannabis.
One aspect I found very appealing to the California Cannabis Health and Hemp Initiative is that it includes “case review for the purpose of amnesty, immediate release from prison, jail, parole, and probation, and clearing, expunging, and deletion of all cannabis hemp marijuana records for all persons currently charged with, or convicted of any non-violent cannabis hemp marijuana offenses” which would no longer be illegal under this initiative. I most enthusiastically support this, and also the requirement that within 60 days of passing, the Attorney General would have to create and distribute “a one-page application, providing for the destruction of all cannabis hemp marijuana criminal records in California for any such offense covered by this Act.” Those interested in filing the application would pay a $10 fee with any Superior Court in California and the Court would set aside and destroy the arrest records, so that “such persons may then truthfully state that they have never been arrested or convicted” of the crimes that are no longer illegal. It would be a “finding of factual innocence under California Penal Code.”
Jack Herer’s website offers the final wording he worked on before passing in 2010 and encourages others to use it as an example in states that allow the initiative process. Those working with the California Cannabis Health and Hemp Initiative are hoping to have 800,000 signatures by 4/20, and they need your help to make that happen. Read through the text of the bill, donate if out of state or unable to sign but you would like to fund those gathering signatures and working for legalization.
Stay informed, stay active, stay high.
Websites I referred to while writing: