With COVID-19 causing major disruptions for people and economies across the globe, director Kevin Smith and actor Jason Mewes are calling attention to another cause whose future is being threatened by the coronavirus.
In a video released this week, the duo famous for playing Jay and Silent Bob asked officials in California to consider accepting digital signatures for an initiative close to their hearts – the California Cannabis Hemp Heritage Act 2020.
CCHHA 2020 is an initiative that seeks to amend the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) or Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state of California back in 2016.
According to the group’s website, CCHHA 2020 aims to “raise the bar of Cannabis Hemp legalization in California by empowering personal use and shaping this growing industry with equitable regulations.”
Backers of the act claim that the proposed amendments will ensure freedom for a great number of people with non-violent marijuana charges, as well as limit the steep taxes and licensing fees for cannabis businesses in California.
In order to get the initiative on the California state ballot in November, CCHHA needs to gather 640,000 signatures by April. However, as the coronavirus outbreak led to severe restrictions across the U.S., collecting these signatures by the April deadline has become virtually impossible.
Speaking as part of the “weed community,” Smith and Mewes plead with Governor Gavin Newsom to permit collecting digital signatures as canvassers for the initiative will be unable to go door-to-door amid the deadly epidemic.
The pair also highlighted that Proposition 64 has “rolled back some of the rights and access” that people had to cannabis prior to legalization and that the fate of the entire effort, which has been both time-consuming and costly, now depends on an electronic petition.
“So what we’re asking, please, the state, will you this one time accept digital signatures? Being that we are in the middle of a pandemic and that it would be irresponsible to send people out to get signatures, will digital signatures be enough?” the Clerks director asked.