Recreational Marijuana Officially On California Ballot
This Tuesday, California’s Secretary of State office gave Californians the green-light to vote on whether or not to make recreational marijuana use legal this November. The office received over 600,000 signatures when it only needed 402,000 to qualify for the ballot.
With California being the first state to open its doors to medical marijuana it comes as no surprise that California may be one of the first 10 states to go recreational.
The act would allow anyone 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of weed for recreational usage. Californians will also be able to grow up to six pot plants if the act passes.
This law would make it so marijuana can be licensed, regulated, and taxed. Local control over commercial distribution will be left up to city councils and they can decide whether or not to allow the commercial distribution of marijuana within their borders.
Opponents of recreational marijuana have argued that these new measures carry public safety risks and would make pot more accessible to underage consumers.
However, a recent study in Colorado disproves this theory. The study reveals that since pots legalization in Colorado teenage use has slightly dipped. Alcohol remains the drug of choice for teens in the state.
Proponents responsible for funding the campaign for “Californians to Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult use of Marijuana While Protecting Children” include the legalization advocate group Drug Policy Action and a committee funded by Weedmaps.
In total 3.7 million dollars was spent on campaigning for the passing of this act.
Advocates claim the new measure has a better chance of passing than a similar measure that was rejected in 2010 because 4% more voters said chose a “no” ballot than “yes.”
According to Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, “This is six years later. We’ve already seen legalization pass and be successful in other states. So it’s a different world in talking about this issue” now than it was in 2010.
Eight other states have marijuana measures on their ballots this year and the pass or fail of the biggest state in the country will likely impact the choices of all future states deciding whether or not to go recreational. Some activists believe that if the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” fails to pass in California, it will put up to a 10-year halt on the progress of recreational marijuana in other states.