California was the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana in the United States with the passage of Proposition 215 into law in 1996. But in 2010, the last time the electorate was able to vote on recreational use, it was defeated.

According to my research, this happened because of an organized effort by the California Narcotics Officers Assn. (job protection) and because of a heavy influx of out-of-state money aimed at defeating legalization of this benign medicinal, spiritual and natural herb.

During elections in the US, unlike in most European countries, it is quite common to see, mostly law-enforcement agencies campaign actively against what the people want. Although technically illegal according to the law, it is nonetheless done without any scruples.

In this case, the special interests of the narcotics officers is prioritized over the vote cast by ordinary citizens. Obviously this undermines the very principles of democracy and it has disastrous consequences for the we, people. In a democracy the common good should prevail for society as a whole and not special interests!

California’s next chance will be November 2014, and the California Cannabis and Hemp Initiative (CCHI) is the only petition filed in time to enjoy the full 150 days allowed to collect the nearly 505,000 signatures as required by the February 24, 2014 deadline. What will police do come fall of 2014? And will there be out-of-state money to defeat the vote of Californians, again?

Industrial hemp is the central part of this bill. The world should have been using hemp for paper, plastics, ink, recyclable carpet, wood products and building materials, just to name a few, a long time ago. Instead, we cut down all the trees, flush them down the toilet and let them get consumed by termites, which is what we have been doing for the last 70 years. Wood products made from hemp, are stronger last much longer, do not need to be painted over and over, and are 100% termite proof!

CCHI legalizes hemp for farming, and it also uses an excise tax collected from recreational pot-sales, to fund start-ups in these industries. Hemp and marijuana farmers have a legal and legitimate place to sell their crops. This initiative intends to make California the first major state in the United States to create a domestic infrastructure for the utilization of industrial hemp.

Earlier this month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that paved the way for hemp-legalization once it is legal on the federal level. Currently federal law does not distinguish between cannabis or medicinal marijuana and industrial-hemp or as it was commonly called; hemp. This hemp bill authorizes farmers to prepare for the cultivation of legal hemp, CCHI has the same goal.

To learn more about the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative and to volunteer to get signatures, see