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California, 7 Other States to Vote on Legalization of Marijuana
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Summary: California and seven other states will decide on November 8 whether or not to legalize marijuana– recreationally, medicinally, or both.

California will once again vote to legalize recreational marijuana. On Nov. 8, the Golden State will join Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, Florida, Missouri, and Arkansas in the list of states deciding to either legalize weed for medical or recreational purposes.

  
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California, the most populous state in the country, “is the linchpin for hemispheral legalization,” according to Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He stated that he hoped a win for marijuana in the state will trigger a snowball effect throughout the country. The state already allows medicinal use, and it was the first state to legalize in 1996. However, the allowance of recreational use has still not passed.

If California recreational marijuana is deemed legal, it would be given a 15% sales tax with another tax imposed on growers. Dale Gieringer of NORML told CNN this could bring in $1 billion in tax revenue and reduce law enforcement costs by $100 million. He made his statements based on the assumption that legalized marijuana would bring in $7 billion in retail sales.

In Colorado, where recreational and medicinal marijuana use is legal, retail sales in 2015 brought the state $42 million. While California’s last recreational law failed to pass in 2010, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska showed their progressive sides and were richly rewarded financially.

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Currently, 19 states allow medicinal pot use and 18 other states have partial laws or laws pending. Despite state autonomy, the federal government views marijuana use as illegal, which means weed cannot be moved across state lines and banks refuse to handle marijuana-related accounts. Thus, many pot dispensaries are cash-only businesses.

Do you believe marijuana should be legalized in more states or federally? Let us know in the comments below.



Source: CNN

Photo courtesy of CNN



 

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