CA, USA- As of November 9th, 2016, in the state of California the majority of voters approved Proposition 64, making California the most populous state in the nation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Proposition 64 allows Californians who are 21 and older to possess, transport, buy and use up to an ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes and allow individuals to grow as many as six plants. The measure would also allow retail sales of marijuana and impose a 15% tax.
By a margin of about 56% to 44%, voters passed Proposition 64, making California the fifth state to legalize recreational pot, after Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Adults cannot smoke or ingest weed in public. The measure only allows non-medical marijuana to be sold by state licensed businesses, and it gives the state until Jan. 1, 2018, to begin issuing sales licenses for recreational retailers. Though Proposition 64 will eventually allow for licensed on-site consumption. Many questions have been asked in regards to using medicainal marijuana and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. There is no way to measure how much THC (The main ingrendient in Canabis) is in one’s body with a breathalyzer, here is how this situation can be clarified. It is still illegal to do drugs and operate a vehicle, boat, aircraft or any other such vessel, and it will continue to be. The exact protocols for determining if a driver is impaired by marijuana will be set out by the California Highway Patrol. This vote happened 20 years after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996.
Seeing how Proposition 64 will have a positive or negative impact on all the citizens of the State of California I interviewed several students and residents of Notre Dame de Namur located in Belmont, California. One student by the name of Matthew DeQuiroz said “I feel that Proposition 64 makes marijuana much more accessible for those who need medication. Since the passing of Proposition 64 I hope people will have a different outlooks on cannabis”. Another student by the name of Andy Sandoval said “I hope after Proposition 64 is passed that people do not take advantage of the law and have California turn into a state overtaken by cannabis”. Not all students and citizens had the same opinions on Proposition 64. One citizen of Belmont said that “Proposition 64 will ruin childhoods. Before you know it they will have dispensaries within walking distance of schools. Exposing youth to cannabis is the last things I want”. With the approval of the ballot measure creates the largest market for marijuana products in the U.S. It comes six years after California voters narrowly rejected a similar measure. Activists said passage would be an important moment in a fight for marijuana legalization across the U.S.