It might just be time for the state of California to write another chapter in the marijuana history books by voting to legalize its recreational use for adults.  Fourteen years ago now, in 1996, California was the first state to legalize the use of marijuana as medicine and there are now 14 states where it is legal to use medical marijuana, with other states soon to tag along.

Stephen Gutwillig, California director for the Drug Policy Alliance, says that this is a watershed moment in the decades-long struggle to end failed marijuana prohibition in the US.

“We really can’t overstate the significance,” he says, of Californians being the first to have “the opportunity to end this public policy disaster.”

In Rhode Island, another state under pressure from the economic downturn, legislators are also considering a plan to decriminalize possession of an ounce or less by anyone 18 or older.

In Washington, however, a proposal to legalize the sale and use of marijuana was recently defeated in that state’s legislature, although Washington lawmakers did enlarge the team of medical professionals authorized to prescribe the drug for medicinal use.

And a group in Nevada is pushing an initiative that marks the state’s fourth attempt in a decade to legalize the drug.

The California secretary of state’s office certified the initiative for the general election ballot Wednesday after it was determined that supporters had gathered enough valid signatures.

The initiative would allow those 21 years and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, and grow their own crop of the plant in gardens measuring up to 25 square feet.

The California proposal would ban users from ingesting marijuana in public or smoking it while minors are present. It also would make it illegal to possess the drug on school grounds or drive while under its influence.

Local governments would decide whether to permit and tax marijuana sales.


Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Gary says:

    I’m in California, so far we have legalized MEDICAL cannabis but if you read the fine print, the state say’s “ quote the state of California does NOT require you to have a state ID card, however if you, do you WILL NOT BE ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION” unquote. So if you don’t have this trusty piece of paper, costing $ 166.00 for the patient, the care giver, you put yourself in the authority’s hands.

    So the state’s already getting their hands in the pie, now in Nov, the state wants to add a $ 50.00 per ounce sales tax…I say grow people GROW NOW!!!

  • Ken says:

    We seem to forget that it is for medical use! There are too many people that are using it for recreational use. They’re just as bad as the person that has to have a morning drink to start their day. To tell the truth people are abusing the system. All that seems to mater is that they need to get high.

    This is drug abuse no more no less. People are getting high in our parks. Driving in their cars and Pot never made me feel like I could drive, let alone walk. Getting stoned is against the law. What is going to be the legal limit when you get stop for vehicle violations. Teaching our children “oh its ok johnny its just pot” It shouldn’t be legalized for recerational use.

  • George J says:

    I have been campaigning for years for legalization of cannabis and Cannabis Seeds Sale in the UK. The Netherlands has the lowest amount of Cannabis users in % compared to any other European country, proving legalization works. Thousands of users and growers in the UK are still pushed in the criminal circuit because of the current legislation. The UK has a very two fold system buying cannabis seeds online on sites such as is legal.

    These companies sell over 900 strains of marijuana globally as souvenirs, because germinating and growing the seeds is illegal! When looking at the turnover of these companies I can only deduct that growing cannabis is widely done in the UK and Europe! Maybe it is time to decriminalize the sale and growth for personal consumption. This will help fund the stricken UK economy and undoubtedly have a positive impact on the NHS and Police Services

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