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Supporters say they'll qualify California ballot measure to legalize pot


Supporters of a statewide initiative to legalize marijuana say they've gathered enough signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

Supporters say they've collected more than 700,000 signatures. They need 433,900 signatures from registered voters.

The initiative would allow the state and local governments to regulate and tax pot much like alcohol.

Supporters include former Orange County Superior Court Judge Jim Gray.

He says studies show taxing pot would raise $1.3 billion in revenue and save more than $1 billion in law enforcement costs associated with marijuana.

Gray also says it would get Mexican drug cartels out of the pot business and create new opportunities for California agri-businesses.

Oaksterdam University founder Richard Lee has poured a million dollars into the campaign. Oaksterdam, which is based in Oakland, teaches people how to grow, market and consume marijuana under California laws that allow the medical use of pot.

Lee said the campaign has hired members of President Obama's Internet campaign team to help raise $25 million for the pot initiative.

A Field Poll last year found 56 percent of Californians support legalizing marijuana.