California Voters Will Decide Whether To Legalize Pot

Sacramento, CALIF. – California voters will get t0 decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana. Secretary of State Alex Padilla said initiative proponents have turned in more than enough signatures to place the question on the November ballot.

The initiative is promoted by a well-funded and politically connected coalition spearheaded by former Facebook president Sean Parker.

It asks voters to allow people 21 and older to buy an ounce of marijuana and marijuana-infused products at licensed retail outlets and also grow up to six plants for personal use.

Smoking weed would remain off-limits in places where tobacco use already is prohibited, including restaurants, bars, and other enclosed public places.

State officials estimate the measure would raise as much as $1 billion per year in revenue and reduce public safety costs — for police, courts, jails and prisons — by tens of millions.

Provisions of the initiative, which requires a simple majority vote to pass, would direct most proceeds to covering regulatory costs, research on the effects of legalization, environmental mitigation, substance abuse treatment and other purposes.

It’s drawn support from the California NAACP, the California Medical Association and the California Democratic Party.

Opponents include the California Republican Party, the Teamsters Union and groups representing police chiefs and hospitals.

California voters rejected pot legalization by 7 percentage points in 2010. Colorado and Washington became the first states to allow recreational sales in 2012, followed two years later by Alaska and Oregon.

Initiatives allowing for casual use have qualified for November ballots in Nevada and Maine.