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By Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel

At a board meeting held on Saturday, February 20th in Washington, DC, the NORML Board of Directors voted to endorse the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) voter initiative to legalize marijuana in California.

The NORML Board reversed its former policy of waiting until an initiative has officially qualified for the ballot before endorsing it, believing our endorsement could have a greater impact on the eventual outcome if it came earlier in the process.

The Board took this action aware there are other proposed initiatives in California that include provisions 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.

The AUMA proposal will end marijuana prohibition; legalize personal use and possession by adults of an ounce of marijuana, and personal cultivation of up to six plants of marijuana; license dispensaries in which marijuana can be used publicly; and establish a legally regulated market where consumers can obtain their marijuana.

AUMA also enjoys the political support of several other pro-reform organizations, as well as the California Medical Association, the California NAACP, and CA Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and has the financial support required to mount a professional campaign in California.

The NORML Board also endorsed full legalization initiatives expected to appear on the ballot in Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Arizona; as well as medical use initiatives expected to appear on the ballot in Missouri and Florida.

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