Source: Americans for Policy Reform February 25, 2014 7:55 AM

SAN JOSE, CA–(Marketwired – Feb 25, 2014) –  Proponents of MCLR, the only remaining initiative working to get the legalization of marijuana on the California November 2014 ballot, has increased their campaign efforts to raise funds to collect another five hundred thousand valid voter signatures.

“We know it can be done. The last time legalization was on the ballot the signature gathering firm collected all the signatures needed in about two weeks. The only thing that stands in the way of legalization in 2014 is money, and it’s not a lot,” said Dave Hodges, Proponent & Founder of the All American Cannabis Club. “It will take an additional $2 million dollars to cover the signature gathering costs.” MCLR has until April 18, 2014 to submit the signatures on all the petitions to get the measure on the November 2014 ballot.

“We are putting out an APB for funds right now,” Hodges said. “If we can raise the money needed in the next three weeks, we can ensure Californian voters have a chance to make their decision in 2014. While we’d love to see several contributors at a million dollars each — and we know the possibility is out there — we also know that if even ten percent of the people in California who support legalization donated just $4.20, we will have more than enough to legalize cannabis.”

The campaign launched its petition drive in Southern California on February 8, 2014. MCLR has since continued to receive widespread support from activists, volunteers and citizens statewide.

“We can’t wait until 2016 and the polls indicate that the voters don’t want to wait,” stated Degé Coutee, Proponent and President of the Patient Advocacy Network in Los Angeles. “Since the Riverside decision, California is moving backward with medical marijuana and the passage of MCLR in 2014 will protect patients and collectives now.”

What MCLR Will Achieve
According to Attorney General Kamala Harris, MCLR will “reduce costs potentially exceeding one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) annually to state and local governments” related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses, handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating marijuana offenders. Harris also reported MCLR will add “a few hundred million dollars annually” from additional tax revenues. MCLR stands to create thousands of jobs in California.

“It is time that we once and for all move beyond the failed policies of our country’s ‘war on drugs,'” said Attorney Jeffrey Collins, a former U.S. State Department and White House Official. “California has long led the nation in innovative and progressive policies. I believe the residents will seize this opportunity to set an example for the nation by supporting MCLR’s comprehensive, sensible, and safe approach,” Collins stated.

Withdrawn Measures
The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) was unable to collect the signatures needed by their February 24th deadline, and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) announced recently that it would wait until 2016 to seek to put a legalization initiative on the ballot. Shortly thereafter, Ed Rosenthal, proponent of the Cannabis Policy Reform Act of 2014 decided to follow their lead and “not to seek signatures for the ballot.”

“We have seen the negative results of the legislation passed in the state of Washington, including the resulting ban on medical dispensaries. DPA’s initiative could have had the same results in California,” said John Lee, Proponent & Founder of Americans for Policy Reform. Lee added, “MCLR is California’s best hope for sensible, fair and job-friendly legislation. The polls are clear that Californians want legalization now!”

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