I had a conversation Friday night with a reporter from a very large media company. During that conversation I expressed concern for California's 2016 marijuana election efforts. I told the reporter that it would really suck if California failed, again, in 2016. Winning in other states would be great, don't get me wrong, but California is the biggest 'prize' of 2016. A 2016 victory in California would signal the beginning of the end for national cannabis prohibition in my opinion. A loss in California would not be the beginning of the end for legalization efforts (as much as opponents like to think it would), but it would delay things on a national scale in my opinion.
Unfortunately, California has a very fractured activism base. There are several initiatives currently gathering resources and signatures, which is what has doomed past California efforts. In a perfect world they would all work together, because it's going to take upwards of $20 million to run a successful California campaign from start to finish. California will not be easy, but a lot of people are confident that it will happen. Among those that are confident of a 2016 victory is California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom. Mr. Newsom was recently on the Bill Maher show, and he expressed that he feels California will legalize in 2016. Per SF Gate:
The statement amounts one of to the most strident predictions — from one of the world’s highest ranking politicians — about the success of such an initiative.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday, Aug. 7, and during a question and answer segment said:
“As some folks may know, we’re very likely to have a ballot initiative in 2016 and we have strong confidence that we’ll win. We gotta to do it right and be thoughtful and deal with the legitimate concerns folks have about our children, and not allowing Big Tobacco come in and do Big Marijuana. So we want to do it in a very thoughtful way and we want to have that opportunity next year.”
I will post the video of the entire question and answer section below. I have found in the past that the Bill Maher show makes the video available on YouTube for a limited time, so hopefully the video stays up for awhile. The segment features two Republican strategists, and other than one of them trying to bust a joke that Rand Paul grows marijuana in Kentucky, the entire segment was very thoughtful, and the Republicans actually had amazing things to say, which were points that marijuana supporters have made for a long time: