By voting for California to legalize marijuana not just medically but also recreationally, anyone 21 and older will be able to possess and personally use up to an ounce.
If this measure passes, individuals 21 and older will also be permitted to personally cultivate up to as many as six plants. On Wednesday, supporters of the legalization efforts made an announcement that they had collected enough signatures to qualify for a spot on the November ballot for a vote. Democratic Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, leading a coalition of supporters that includes billionaire high-tech entrepreneur Sean Parker, said the campaign had gathered some 600,000 petition signatures, well above the 365,880 minimum required. The signatures must still be officially certified by state election officials but Newsom promises the cannabis cause will 100% be on that ballot this Fall. The initiative has been given the name The Adult Use of Marijuana Act would also establish a system to license, regulate and tax sales of marijuana, while allowing city governments to exercise local control over or disallow commercial distribution within their borders. Opinionated polls show an increase of support of liberalized marijuana laws since California voters defeated a recreational cannabis initiative in 2010. California was the leader, first legalizing marijuana for medical purposes in 1996, with 22 other states and the District of Columbia following suit, although cannabis remains classified as an illegal narcotic under U.S. law. Opponents of the measure have argued that legalizing marijuana may carry major public safety risks and would make the herb more accessible to the younger generations. On the other hand, supporters of the California initiative said the measure included a number of provisions aimed at keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors, including a ban on marketing to children, explicit warning labels on cannabis products and safe-packaging restrictions. They also said hundreds of millions of dollars in state tax revenue from cannabis sales would be tagged and held aside for substance abuse prevention and treatment, law enforcement and research. The NAACP Civil Rights Group, a key organization backing the ballot measure, has agreed that current marijuana laws have led to a disproportionate number of minorities being incarcerated for minor drug offenses. What’s your stance?