Marijuana is illegal under federal law. But it’s legal to use it for medicinal purposes in California and about a dozen other states. This measure would make California the first state to legalize recreational marijuana: Anyone 21 and older could possess up to one ounce and grow the plant in gardens. And it would be up to cities and counties to decide whether to permit and tax marijuana sales.
Stephen Gutwillig is with the marijuana advocacy group Drug Policy Alliance. He says the drug is too widely available to be successfully banned.
Gutwillig: “The way to address any problems caused by marijuana – including access the young people have to it – is to regulate it, rather than to ban it outright.”
But opponents say legalizing marijuana for adults will significantly increase its use by teenagers. The group SaveCalifornia.com says defeating this initiative should be job number one for every voter who cares about children.