Cannabis News of the (Leap) Day

The opposition to California’s most potent pot-legalization measure (AUMA) is finally gathering some green: The California Public Safety Institute, which successfully defeated the 2010 recreational cannabis use initiative, has begun fundraising in earnest, tapping law enforcement organizations, faith groups, unions, and other stalwarts of the anti-legalization camp. Though leadership does not anticipate outspending the forces behind the AUMA, they believe they will succeed. This in the face of 60% support for legalization in the state (compared to a 51% approval rating for CA governor Jerry Brown).

Elsewhere in the Pacific Rim…Alaska has revamped its legalization timeline, estimating that the state’s regulatory board will begin approving retail and production facilities by early September.

Rumblings in Michigan: A state senator has introduced a bill that proposes to legalize recreational cannabis use. Some non-profits and victims’-rights groups object.

The Vermont legalization bill makes its way to the state’s lower house.

One year later in D.C.: The District of Columbia, still the largest jurisdiction on the east coast to legalize recreational cannabis, put the federal government’s resolve (or lack thereof) to enforce federal prohibition laws to the test a year ago with Initiative 71. Now, pundits say, there is more work to be done.

Are Canadians getting cold feet? The new Liberal government has been given six months to reformulate Canadian cannabis policy. Many Canadians believe that recreational legalization is a given, but, realistically, it’s more complicated than that. With so much popular support on the side of legalization, why the delay? The answer has much to do with the often complicated relationship between winning elections and writing policy.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Commonwealth, Australia legalizes medical marijuana for the right reasons.

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