SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The push to legalize medical marijuana use in California took another step toward reality with the introduction of a long-awaited ballot measure on Monday.
The proposal would allow adults 21 years and older to possess use and share up to an ounce of the drug while imposing a 15 percent sales tax on all retail sales.
AT A GLANCE: Highlights From California Marijuana Legalization Measure
The push comes a few years after voters rejected Proposition 19 in 2010.
Unlike the more than a dozen other marijuana initiatives out there, this one has a team of people with billions of dollars behind it, along with credible physicians endorsing it.
The new initiative aims to make California the fifth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, essentially regulating and taxing it.
"It's not going to change much," said Nate Bradley with the California Cannabis Association. "The reality is the people consuming cannabis now will keep doing it."
If passed, it will allow adults 21 and older to walk into a state-licensed store and buy up to an ounce of marijuana.
"The only way to protect our children is to make sure we have a system that makes sense," said Jason Kinney, the face behind the measure. "it makes no sense today to allow the children of california have easier access to marijuana illegally than they do to alcohol."
He says while the initiative is one of more than a dozen measure being readied for the 2016 ballot, it's the only one backed by a broad coalition of people from tech billionaire Sean Parker to an award-winning physician from Sacramento, Dr. Donald Lyman.
"He's not alone," Kinney said. "He's got a lot of physicians and a lot of environmentalists and social justice groups all supporting this. This is a real big-tent measure."
Backers also claim the measure would potentially generate $500 million in tax revenue for the state. By comparison, Washington state generated close to $300 million in 2014 and $530 million in 2015.
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