Media Blitz Greets California Cannabis Tax Effort

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Reuters, the San Francisco Chronicle, CBS, ABC and other major media outlets descended on the 38th-Annual NORML convention this afternoon for a press conference by leading Oakland drug law reformer Richard Lee. Rich Lee's Tax and Regulate Cannabis 2010 ballot initiative begins gathering more than a half a million signatures today to qualify for the November 2010 ballot. TaxCann2010 will legalize personal possession of small amount of cannabis and create a regulatory framework for commercial sales, similar to alcohol.

Former senate pro tem Don Perata was scheduled to appear and endorse the TaxCann kick-off, but he missed his appearance at the last minute for "personal reasons." TaxCann2010 political director Doug Linney could not elaborate on the Perata's absence. Still, Perata issued a statement endorsing TaxCann 2010 as a billion-dollar revenue generator for a broke state, and as a way to keep cannabis out of the hands of minors.

Lee needs in excess of 430,000 signatures in 150 days to qualify for the ballot, and has deployed paid signature gatherers Masterton and Wright to spearhead a $1 million effort. "We're confident we'll be able to get it onto the ballot."

Weekly meetings are being held in Oakland and across the state. Expect to see signature gatherers at major music events and other hubs of cannabis culture, TaxCann2010 said. — David Downs

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