California could soon become the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana use, as a proposal to put the issue on the November ballot received the required number of signatures on Tuesday.
According to a report by Reuters:
The proposed so-called 'Adult Use of Marijuana Act,' which is supported by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom among others, would allow people aged 21 and older to possess as much as an ounce of marijuana for private recreational use and permit personal cultivation of as many as six marijuana plants. [...] The measure 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.
A random sample of over 606,000 people conducted by the Secretary of State's office concerning the measure received almost 424,000 signatures in favor of the proposal, enough to assure its place on the ballot in the fall. A spokesman for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act released this statement following the release of the sample's data:
Today marks a fresh start for California, as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself.
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act's appearance on the state ballot will come six years after Proposition 19, a similarly structured legalization initiative, failed when put to a popular vote in 2010. However, the conditions for the cannabis movement have drastically changed since then, with recreational use of marijuana being legalized in several other states beginning in 2012. In fact, eight other states have marijuana measures on their ballots as well this year, making November a critical moment for the cannabis industry in the United States.