Tuesday, January 6, 2015

California Legalization Activists Announce First Public Meetings of 2015

By David Downs
Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 10:59 AM

Several pro-cannabis groups are trying to attract followers and raise funds to draft a 2016 initiative and gather signatures for it. That effort kicks off Friday with an Oakland-centric seminar on what California activists can learn from the winning efforts in Oregon, Washington DC, and the rollout of legal pot in Colorado.

A group formed during 2010’s Prop 19 race — The Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform — announced today it will conduct a “Post Mortem Seminar on 2014 Legalization Elections” Friday from 12:30 - 6:30 p.m. at The Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square.

Prop 215 campaign manager Bill Zimmerman will deliver the keynote and conduct a Q&A session at 4:15 p.m.

Oaksterdam University chancellor and CCPR leader Dale Sky Jones opens the discussion on “What does California need to learn from the Colorado, Washington, Washington D.C., Alaska, & Oregon Victories?”

click to enlarge Signature gatherers work the Los Angeles Medical Cannabis Cup 2014 in an ultimately failed bid to place a legalization measure on the November ballot. - DAVID DOWNS
  • David Downs
  • Signature gatherers work the Los Angeles Medical Cannabis Cup 2014 in an ultimately failed bid to place a legalization measure on the November ballot.


The meeting is all about “message management,” with Marijuana Policy Project’s Steve Fox talking about building a successful initiative. Jordan Wellington will deliver lessons from Colorado's legislative implementation process. Anthony Johnson will offer takeaways from Oregon's Measure 91 Campaign, and Adam Eidinger will take folks behind the scenes of Washington DC's Initiative 71 Campaign.

But don’t close your calendar yet.

Major cannabis law reform group Drug Policy Alliance wants you to save the date for their symposium “Marijuana and Social Justice: Implications for Regulation in California” on Monday, February 9, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Oakland Conference Center - California Endowment at 1111 Broadway, 7th Floor.

Some of the most vociferous opponents of pot law reform come from low-income, minority communities disproportionately targeted by the drug war. Support for legalization is weak among Latinos and older African-Americans and other ethnic groups.

Given that fact, DPA states: “In considering the next steps for California’s marijuana policies, it is important to look at how changes may affect the communities traditionally most affected by marijuana prohibition. How can legalization address racial and economic justice concerns? How do we ensure the health and well-being of our communities? How can we ensure equity in the growing marijuana industry?”

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