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Friday, Jul 26 2013 02:37 PM

What does this pot referendum say?

By The Bakersfield Californian

Medical marijuana advocates who oppose Bakersfield's soon-to-take-effect ban on dispensaries have just eight days to collect enough signatures to force its repeal.

They say they're about halfway home in their quest to collect the signatures of 10 percent of the city's registered voters -- 15,326 eligible signers.

What exactly, you may ask, are they proposing? Beats us. The city's attorney's office hasn't seen the language and the proponents haven't provided it to anybody we can find. Anyone who's curious about precisely what Bakersfield's medical marijuana advocates are putting forward in terms of proposed ordinance language will just have to go down to Target, or wherever these signature-gatherers have set up shop, and ask to see the text.

That hardly seems like a way to run a campaign to change a local ordinance, but maybe these pot-shop advocates don't deserve all of the blame. It seems to us the city ought to manage these things the way the California Secretary of State's office manages the placement of initiatives on the statewide ballot: Proposed propositions are first vetted for clarity and legality and only then, once approved, may the sponsors start collecting signatures of support. Let's try that.

An earlier version of this editorial referred to this signature gathering process as an effort to place a measure on the local ballot.

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