California Pot: Golden State Will Vote on Recreational Marijuana

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on June 29, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Yesterday, California's Secretary of State announced that the recreational marijuana measure had obtained more than enough signatures to be included on this November's ballot. The amount of money supporters have raised is $3.53 million according to the Sacramento Bee -- 31 times more than opponents have raised to block the measure.

The development is consistent with increased acceptability by various jurisdictions within the union of the recreational use of a drug that still enjoys controlled substance status under Schedule I.

Adult Use of Marijuana Act

If Californians vote to pass the measure, the text of the law will allow adults over 21 will be able to carry up to an ounce of marijuana on their person and also be allowed to grow up to six plants recreationally.

The fact that the measure has gotten this far is testimony by some that the state's attempts to control the use of marijuana through the criminal court system has failed. Joseph Kinney, a spokesperson for the measure, stated: "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."

Prop 19 Death and Revenge

The overwhelming success of the fall measure and the expected support behind it is in contrast to the somewhat bitter and narrow defeat of Prop 19 several years ago. Pot advocates saw that as years of lost opportunity. This time, the measure places more centralized control in the hands of the state legislature instead of the individualized power of the local municipalities, as we saw in Prop 19.

Not All for Flower Power

Although attitudes have generally loosened against pot and the population has acquiesced to its use as a medical product, there are still a significant number of pollsters who feel that marijuana should not be legalized here in California. According to a recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, 60 percent of voters say that pot should be legal generally, but 37 percent feel that it should not be legal.

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