How California Will Legalize Pot in 2016

Learning The Lessons of Prop 19


"The pitch is that prohibition has only created crime, violence, and the destruction of families. It's time to end prohibition," says Jim Gonzales, a political strategist for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform.

California set the stage for marijuana legalization in America as the first state to legalize the drug for medical use with the passage of Prop 215 in 1996. But after the Golden State failed to legalize commercial marijuana sales in 2010 when Prop 19 lost by seven points, several states and the District of Columbia leapfrogged California and showed the nation what a recreational pot market would look like.

But now, California is back in the game, with legalization almost certain to be on the 2016 ballot. Reason TV travelled to Oaksterdam University, the nation's premier cannabis cultivation school, where many of the political activists pushing an upcoming ballot initiative held a meeting to finalize language and debate some of the finer points of legalization.

The group calls itself ReformCA and is chaired by Oaksterdam's President Dale Sky-Jones. We spoke to Sky-Jones and several other activists about lessons learned from Prop 19, what other states can teach California, and what legalization in the largest state in the union would mean for the rest of the country.

"How California Will Legalize Pot in 2016" was originally released on November 25, 2015.