California Attorney General Kamala Harris noted the potential positive benefits of recreational pot legalization as part of her objective assessment – not an endorsement – of two of the three statewide initiatives seeking to gain sufficient signatures of registered voters to be included on the November 2014 ballot.
Attorney General Harris observed that legal pot under the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act could result in "reduced costs in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses." Harris also singled out the "potential net additional tax revenues in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually related to the production and sale of marijuana." A portion of that revenue will be spent on education, health care, public safety, drug abuse education and treatment as well as the regulation of the retail pot industry.
Harris approved the Act’s official “title summary” – a requirement that shows potential signers what they’re approving. However, because the initiative states that those under 21 “may” be prohibited from using pot (instead of “shall” be prohibited) Harris must approve the initiative again – before January 31.
Harris approved a second legalization initiative called the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2014 in September 2013. Harris believes that initiative also would increase tax revenue while reducing law enforcement costs.
A third potential legal pot initiative entitled The Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act – backed by Drug Policy Alliance – is still awaiting official title summary approval from the Attorney General’s office.