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Race Is On Among Pot Supporters To Get Issue On Calif. Ballot

SIMI VALLEY ( — The race is on among marijuana supporters to get the issue on the California ballot in November.

KCAL9's Dave Bryan reports there are at least four different versions of legalizing pot initiatives vying to get on the ballot.

From now until April, supporters, like a group called 420 Nurses, will be gathering signatures to that end.

"You get everybody from people saying, 'It's already legal!' to 'You dopeheads,'" said a woman.

Buddy Duzy is the campaign coordinator of one of the proposed ballot initiatives. He's back for a third try after having worked for two other similar initiatives in 2008 and 2012.

Now he's coordinating the campaign for what he calls the most radical of the four competing ballot propositions.

"The other initiatives are kinda modeled like Colorado and Washington and they take an approach to try to appease the federal government so that they don't hassle them. Our approach is more radical…we want to end hemp prohibition," Duzy said.

One thing all supporters seem to agree on is public attitudes in 2014 give them the best chance to win in the Golden State.

A field poll in December found 56 percent of voters approve of legalization, 31 percent oppose it and only 13 percent are undecided.

Loyola Marymount political science professor and pollster Fernando Guerra said attitudes have changed dramatically in just a few years.

"There has been a tremendous change in terms of the people's opinions, perceptions and behavior regarding marijuana. I think what has happened is that you've seen initiatives pass like this in other jurisdictions, other cities, other states, most importantly, Washington and Colorado, and the world hasn't ended," he said.

In Chatsworth and Simi Valley, voters are divided on the issue.

"It helps people a lot of who have a lack of appetite due to cancer and other ailments. So if it was easily accessible, it would help," a woman said.

"I don't like it. Very dangerous. Especially when young people get a hold of it," a resident said.

"I think they should legalize it and tax it and we'd have less problems," a woman said.

"It's a crutch. Like alcohol is a crutch, like physical abuse is a crutch for some people. I can't see any reason to legalize it," a man said.

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