Marijuana bud. (Tony Avelar / The Christian Science Monitor)
Marijuana bud. (Tony Avelar/The Christian Science Monitor)

One of the leading efforts to legalize marijuana in California says it will wait until 2016 to put the issue on the state ballot.

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen had cleared the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform to circulate initiative petitions for the November ballot. It’s one of three pot legalization proposals cleared to gather signatures for the fall.

But today, the coalition said it needs more time for its campaign.

Stephen Gutwillig, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said Monday that while polling suggests California voters would support such a measure, the coalition wants to wait until 2016 so that it would have more time to raise money and build public support.

The coalition includes politically powerful organizations such as the ACLU, the NAACP and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. It also includes the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and Oakland’s Oaksterdam University, which offers training for cannabis entrepreneurs.

This post includes reporting from the Associated Press.


Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area's transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED's comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

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