California voted to legalise marijuana for recreational use during the US election last week, joining Washington and Oregon to make marijuana legal along the length of the US West Coast and providing huge momentum for the legalisation movement. It is expected that California will raise one billion dollars each year in revenue from the measure. Other states passing similar legislation during the federal election include Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts. Florida, North Dakota and Arizona voted for the legalisation of marijuana for medical use but not recreational joining 19 other states with such laws. Eight states, including Alaska and Colorado, have legalized recreational use. Generating one third of the US economy and home to one in eight US citizens California has a significant role in influencing other states.
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. With California “yes” vote, recreational cannabis will be legal along the entire West Coast, giving the legalization movement powerful momentum.