SACRAMENTO- Supporters the "Regulate Marijuana Like Wine" initiative are out gathering signatures to support the regulation and taxation of marijuana in California.
Proponents say the initiative would repeal the prohibition of marjuana for adults, regulate marijuana like wine, and charge a sales tax on recreational marijuana.
Steve Kubby, one of the proponents, explained the importance of the initiative, "It's the largest crop in the state. We think it should be taxed."
The California Cannabis Association and the California Medical Association both believe more attention needs to be devoted prior to regulating medical marijuana statewide.
"I don't think it goes far enough in terms of regulating cultivation, production, and distribution...it does decriminalize across the board, cultivation for personal use and possession. But I think we really need to get an initiative that focuses on statewide regulation of medical marijuana," said George Mull, President of the California Cannabis Association.
The California Medical Association has taken no formal position on the initiative yet.
"We are most concerned about medical marijuana because physicians are now authorized to write recommendations but we don't know what we are recommending. We don't know what this stuff is. We want a strict regulatory scheme for medical marijuana. That is our primary concern," said Dr. Donald Lyman of the California Medical Association. "But we recognize that the recreation marijuana is still there. It is a problem for health, people's health. We would like to see that regulated as well."
Earlier this month, The California Medical Association endorsed legalizing recreational pot use for adults 21 and older.
The "Regulate Marijuana Like Wine" initiative is the first of several similar initiatives expectedin the coming year. The California Cannabis Association says it's also working on an initiative that would better regulate the medical marijuana industry.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org