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Signatures Submitted For Calaveras Cannabis Initiative

Arnold, CA — Organizers of a regulatory initiative for cannabis have indicated they have collected enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Proponents of the Calaveras for Cannabis Control (C3) Initiative report on Tuesday that nearly 3,300 local voters have signed in support of the measure, which is well in excess of the 1,571 required by law. Now, the Calaveras County Elections Office must work to certify that a sufficient number of the signatures turned in are indeed, from county resident voters. The names and addresses provided to the petitioners are required to match what is in the county database.

Two of the C3 Initiative’s most active supporters maintain that the response to the petition has been very positive. Barden Stevenot comments, “We’ve had people contacting us from all over the county to sign.” Merita Callaway, a former longtime county supervisor, maintains that as organizers sought signatures they had ample opportunity to talk with residents about the importance of regulating cannabis. It was, in her estimation, the support of Calaveras voters that enabled them to exceed the minimum signature requirement.

The C3 Initiative, which is said to base on the Board of Supervisors’ proposed cannabis ordinance from earlier this year, seeks to regulate all aspects of cannabis cultivation and commerce; provide for environmental protections and taxation; put a moratorium on new commercial grows until 2018, when the state begins issuing licenses; and require background checks for all cannabis industry business owners and employees.

From what he has seen and heard from voters, Stevenot calls the initiative the only practical solution to the issue. “Most voters don’t see any way to reduce or control cannabis by simply banning it. They recognize that banning hasn’t worked in the past, isn’t working now in adjoining communities, and would only be partly effective, even if the significant funds needed to enforce it were available — which they aren’t,” he states.

Along with Stevenot and Callaway, Dr. Rodger Orman, Gary Hauer and River Klass are among the public endorsers of the C3 effort.