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The Latest on the Statewide Marijuana Ballot Initiative

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Although a local medical marijuana referendum failed to collect enough signatures to make June's ballot, the statewide initiative to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana like cigarettes and alcohol is still making its way through the process. "It's pretty much in the bag," said Richard Lee over the phone about the initiative statute he submitted. Lee, who founded the cannabis trade school Oaksterdam University in 2007, said counties around California are still verifying signatures collected to put the initiative on November's ballot. Save for L.A. County and a couple others, all counties that have turned in signatures came in with an average 76% validity rate (.pdf)--Lee only needed a rate in the 60s.

At the very latest, we'll officially know whether or not the initiative makes the ballot by March 24th, the deadline for counties to submit signature verifications.