California gets green light to vote on legalising marijuana

2016-06-29 11:19
(Ted S Warren, AP)

(Ted S Warren, AP)

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Los Angeles – Voters in California will decide whether to legalise recreational marijuana in November, after the necessary signatures to put the measure on the ballot were garnered, officials said on Tuesday.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla said proponents had turned in more than the nearly 366 000 signatures needed for the bill to qualify.

The measure, backed by Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker, would allow those over the age of 21 to buy an ounce of marijuana and marijuana-infused products or to grow up to six plants for personal use.

"Today marks a fresh start for California, as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself," Jason Kinney, spokesperson for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, said in a statement.

State officials say the measure would raise up to $1bn in tax revenues annually.

Several other western states including Colorado, Oregon and Washington have already legalised recreational marijuana use, while others across the country have legalised cannabis for medical purposes.

Voters in California rejected a measure to legalise pot in 2010, but surveys show that attitudes have since shifted more in favour.

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