Thursday, January 30, 2014

Patient Advocacy Network Joins Effort To Legalize Cannabis In California In 2014

MCLR Proponents are joined by Sac NORML at the California State House

In previous elections Patient Advocacy Network has refrained from involvement in past California statewide marijuana legalization efforts, mainly because those failed initiatives lacked protection for patients and clarity with respect to collective guidelines. 

However, there became a sense of urgency leading up to the Riverside Decision and it became clear that a statewide voter initiative was needed sooner than later to protect the spirit and intent of the Compassionate Use Act.   A strong contingency of cannabis advocates also wants legal hemp and adult recreational use. recognized that previous attempts to move cannabis legalization forward in California lacked transparency.  Despite multiple attempts, no California cannabis initiative has passed the voters since Prop. 215, in 1996.   Many of these initiatives were drafted behind closed doors without stakeholder input. did something different; they formed to start an open-source document for any member of the group to provide input on what California’s cannabis legalization initiative should look like; membership to the group is open.  What transpired was a document of agreed upon ideas by some 1,200 people with input from over 800 people including: patients, providers, cultivators, advocates, community leaders, concerned citizens, doctors and lawyers. 

PAN President Degé Coutee and co-founder Dave Hodges reached out to as many stakeholders as possible to provide input in time to file an initiative for the 2014 California General Election.  They worked together to edit provisions together to prepare the document for final legal review before submitting it to the Secretary of State. 

Coutee states, “These are the best cannabis guidelines for Californians: patients, consumers, cultivators, and concerned citizens.  We are pleased to be involved.”  Degé Coutee is one of four proponents of the of the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act of 2014 along with John Lee, Bob Bowerman and Dave Hodges.  The full text of the initiative can be found at:

Proponents expect to get a title and summary from the CA Attorney General in a few days and can begin gathering signatures immediately.  Supporters need 504,760 valid signatures in 150 days in order to qualify for the November 2014 election ballot.  PAN is taking donations for the campaign through its 501h election.  All donations are anonymous and tax-deductible.  All contributions will be used to print petitions and pay for signature gathering efforts.  Contributions directly to the campaign can be made at: -- click the “Legalize Cannabis Campaign” donate button; mail a check to P.O. Box 93845, Los Angeles, CA, 90093 or call (323) 334-5282.

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