Voters will be able to decide later this year, in November, how they feel about legalization for recreational use. Supporters for the recent pro-green initiative have raised over $3 million dollars so far, which is many times more than what their opponents have raised. The new initiative, titled the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, would allow for adults that are age 21 or over to be able to possess, transport, and purchase up to an ounce of cannabis. They would also be able to grow the plant for themselves, up to six plants for personal recreational use. “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,” said Jason Kinney who is a spokesperson for the legislation.
If the initiative gets approved then it could eventually translate into saving hundreds of millions of dollars annually on criminal justice costs in the way of enforcing these prohibition restrictions. Advocates argue that this would free up resources to be used on much more important matters, with events that actually include a violation of private property, for crimes where there are real victims involved. Supporters of this initiative include the California Democratic Party, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the California NAACP, the ACLU of California, and others. Similar efforts have been tried previously, most recently back in 2010 with Proposition 19, but it was rejected.
The trend of legalization continues to grow around the world, as more people wake-up to the realization that preventing people from trading, purchasing, eating, or smoking a plant, only congests the legal system.