The movement to legalize marijuana faced its biggest test yet Tuesday as voters in nine states, including the nation’s most populous, considered proposals to expand legal access to the drug, which is still forbidden by the federal government.
California, the first state to approve medical marijuana two decades ago, was among five states weighing whether to go beyond medical use and permit pot for adults for recreational purposes. The other states were Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.
If California votes “yes,” recreational cannabis would be legal along the entire West Coast, giving the legalization movement powerful momentum. That could spark similar efforts in other states and put pressure on federal authorities to ease longstanding rules that classify marijuana as a dangerously addictive drug with no medical benefits.
In general, the proposals for recreational pot would treat cannabis similar to alcohol. Consumption would be limited to people 21 or older and forbidden in most public spaces. Pot would be highly regulated and heavily taxed, and some states would let people grow their own. read more at chicagotribune.com