California Marijuana Legalization Faces Unlikely Foe: Growers

Article by Rory Carrol, Reuters

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Hezekiah Allen is a third-generation marijuana farmer in this Northern California county, where the cool coastal fog pours off the Pacific Ocean, coaxing pot plants to heights of 20 feet.

The executive director of the California Growers Association trade group, Allen has long sought an end to what he calls “prohibition” and has looked forward to a day when he and the thousands of pot farmers here would no longer be outlaws.

But he said he can’t bring himself to vote for Proposition 64, a referendum on California’s November ballot that would legalize cultivation, sale and recreational use of marijuana.

While pot purveyors might seem to be likely Prop. 64 supporters, Allen’s ambivalence is widespread within the industry.

The California Growers Association took a neutral stance after a recent poll among its 750 farmers, distributors and retailers found a split: 31 percent supported, 31 percent opposed, and 38 percent were undecided.

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