Will California Legalize Pot?

With only a few months to go until the election, the campaign to legalize marijuana in California has only $50,000 in cash on hand. The question now is: How can it win?

Daniela Perdomo

Today, at least a third of Americans say they’ve tried smoking weed. Is it possible that after half a century of increasingly mainstreamed pot use the public is ready for marijuana to be legal? We may soon find out.

California has long been on the front lines of marijuana policy. In 1996, it became the first state to legalize medical cannabis. This year, the Tax Cannabis initiative — now officially baptized Proposition 19 — may very well be the best chance any state has ever had at legalizing the consumption, possession and cultivation of marijuana for anyone over 21.

Drug reformers are particularly excited about Prop. 19’s prospects because the pot reform stars seem to be as aligned as ever here. Consider the current state of marijuana in California. For one, medical cannabis has normalized the idea of pot as a legitimate industry to many of the state’s residents. At least 300,000 and as many as 400,000 Californians are card-carrying medical marijuana patients, and the medical pot industry brings in around $100 million in sales tax revenue each year, according to Americans for Safe Access.

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