Wyatt Berka

NORML’s National Board Offers Early Endorsement of California Legalization Initiative

The NORML Board of Directors voted on Saturday to endorse the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis in California.

Kieth Stroup, NORML’s original founder and the organization’s current top legal counsel, wrote in a blog post, “The Board took this action aware there are other proposed initiatives in California that… are even more consumer-friendly, but those alternatives have little chance of qualifying for the ballot or being approved by a majority of the state’s voters.”

According to Stroup, the Board decided to jump the gun — instead its usual procedure of waiting for an initiative to have fully qualified for the ballot before offering their endorsement — because they decided it “could have a greater impact on the eventual outcome if it came earlier in the process.”

AUMA will legalize the personal possession and use of up to an ounce of cannabis, and it will also allow for the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants. The bill would establish a state-regulated marketplace for the retail sale of recreational marijuana.

The campaign has been endorsed by the California Medical Association, the California NAACP, and a host of other pro-reform organizations. AUMA also enjoys significantly more funding than any Prop. 19 — the state’s last legalization attempt — including $1 million in contributions from tech-mogul Sean Parker, for an approximate $2.25 million in total funding for the campaign.

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