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Marijuana Initiative Proponent Speaks
California and Weed | Anti/LAist
We had a very big story on LAist, that got a lot of people excited about the potential for a new system that would legalize weed for all adults to be put on the ballot this November. The excitement was fueled with the hope of many that the nearly 700,000 signatures by Sept. 5, 2008 appeared very likely. The only question that was at the front of everyone's mind was, "WHERE DO I SIGN?!"
In an email exchange with the author of the proponent, he spelled things out, and perhaps cleared up some of the questions.
Dear LAist, My apologies for the delay in getting back to you, and thank you again for your interest in the Inalienable Rights Enforcement (IRE) Initiative. In order to answer your questions, I will start by giving some background to the initiative.
I wrote the IRE Initiative as a senior project while I was a student at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law. The reason I went to law school was because I wanted to learn the laws that structure society. My goal was to become able to diagnose problems at the structural level of society and propose solutions to these problems. The Inalienable Rights Enforcement Initiative was my first attempt to put what I had learned into practice. I had originally intended to get the IRE Initiative on the November 2008 ballot; however, the initiative took longer to draft than expected. As a result, by the time I could start collecting signatures (April 4), I had only 17 days to meet the deadline for the November 2008 ballot (April 21). Since then, although I have not lost faith or interest in the initiative, I have been uncertain as to how to move forward.
With regard to collecting signatures for the September 5 deadline, I do not think this is the way to proceed. From my perspective, there is too great a risk of failing to collect and file the necessary signatures in time. I do not want to risk wasting the time, energy, and goodwill of volunteers by rushing to meet an artificial deadline.
Instead, I believe that, if this campaign is to proceed, the deadline should be reset by re-filing an amended version of the initiative. This would allow volunteers the maximum amount of time to collect and file signatures (150 days).
This would also allow better preparation and coordination of the volunteer effort to collect signatures. Further, this would have the additional benefit of allowing other groups and individuals time to suggest changes or additions to the text. And, by allowing the grassroots movement more time to snowball, it would gain more publicity and put more pressure on politicians to enact this legislation on their own initiative.
I am more than willing to stand as a leader in this movement, to coordinate. improvements in the legislation I have drafted, and to push this legislation forward until it stands as law. However, in order for me to make this commitment, I need to know that I will have the money I need to fund the campaign, as well as the time of volunteers to collect signatures.
So, I am looking for a job or grant that will allow me to continue with this work.
And, I am accepting pledges of time and/or money to determine whether there is critical mass to push forward with this initiative.
If there is any way you can help publicize this pledge campaign, I would be much obliged. Please let me know if you have any thoughts, suggestions, or any other questions regarding the initiative.
He wants help with publicity? If there's anything bloggers know, it's this.