While everyone’s eyes were glued to the Presidential election, three additional states passed the legalization of recreational marijuana use yesterday (Nov 8). Proposition 64, which was shot down in 2010, was passed by California and similar bills also made it through in Massachusetts and Nevada (Question 2).
We just legalized marijuana in Cali. #smokeweedeveryday 🍁💨
— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) November 9, 2016
Support for marijuana is at an all-time high in America. A recent Gallup poll registered a 60 percent approval rating for legalization, which is the highest in the 47 years its been tracked by the service.
“There’s a lot of money to be made if marijuana is legal, not a lot of money to be made if it remains illegal,” said Kevin Sabet, the president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana.
Californians are looking to bring down the sky-high number of marijuana related arrests each year. The charges are especially prevalent in black and brown communities. The bill allows people over 21 to possess up to an ounce marijuana, as well as transport and use recreationally. The proposition also permits the growing of up to six plants in private residences. The state expects about one billion dollars in tax revenue annually from marijuana sales, as a result of a 15 percent tax.
Reformers are ecstatic. “This represents a monumental victory for the marijuana reform movement,” said Ethan Nadelmann, a director with the Drug Policy Alliance. “With California’s leadership now, the end of marijuana prohibition nationally, and even internationally, is fast approaching.”
There is obviously a change of tune on the horizon based on the map above, as only six states have full-on restricted cannabis access. As the millennial generation grows older, and more prevalent at the voting booths, support of legalization initiatives will only increase. It looks as if the cultural adjustment will take place sooner, rather than later. Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota also voted on medial marijuana initiatives.