The campaign will need just over 100,000 valid signatures by November 11th.

On Wednesday the process began to legalize marijuana in Nevada. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana submitted the Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana┬áto the Secretary of State’s office.

The campaign will need just over 100,000 valid signatures by November 11th. If they meet this hurdle the initiative will then be presented to the Nevada Legislature next year. The legislature can either approve the initiative making it law or do nothing which would result in it going before the voters during the 2016 general election. Given the political dynamics of marijuana reform the legislature will probably choose the latter.

The initiative is closely modeled on the law in Colorado. It would legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over. It would also allow individuals to grow up to six plants in their home for personal use. The commercial production and retail sale of marijuana would be taxed and heavily regulated by state agencies.

If it makes the 2016 ballot it is likely to be approved. A Retail Association of Nevada poll from October found 54 percent of Nevada voters favor legalizing the sale of marijuana for recreational use.

Because Nevada uses this indirect initiative process any potential 2016 effort needs to begin years ahead of time, but Nevada is probably only one of several states with legalization initiative on the ballot in 2016. Other campaigns are looking at putting similar initiatives on the 2016 ballot in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Arizona to take advantage of the high turnout of a Presidential election.

It will be very interesting to see what impact having marijuana legalization initiatives in so many states will have on the Presidential politics that cycle.