On November 9th of 2016, California citizens voted in favor of Proposition 64, which legalized possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use, as well as recreational sales of the drug. The California Government took a little over a year to figure out how to implement the new laws, and on January 1st, 2017, the will of the Californian voters finally became the law of the land in the state. The Los Angeles Times put out a helpful primer video last Wednesday explaining what the new laws would do:
Journalists were some of the first to publicize the news in the hours after midnight on New Year's Day:
BREAKING Recreational marijuana sales are legalised in California. One in five Americans can now purchase a drug banned by the federal government.— James Cook (@BBCJamesCook) January 1, 2018
But Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) made this point about the fact that while marijuana has now been legalized in his state, the federal prohibition remains:
And musician Mikel Jollett elucidated on what a federal ban on marijuana does in human terms:
We have decided as a nation that marijuana is mostly harmless which is why it's legal in 29 states.— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) December 28, 2017
There is NO REASON anyone should be rotting in jail for selling it. NONE.
In addition to being a drain of resources, it immoral and cruel.
Though, to clarify, the figure of twenty-nine states that Jollett references include states where marijuana is only legal for medical usage. There are only eight states in which marijuana has been legalized for recreational use; California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska, Massachusetts, and Maine. Twenty-one states have legalized it for medical purposes only.
However, at the end of the day, journalist Jim Roberts pointed out this fact that the federal government may want to pay attention to:
It will be interesting to see how the end of marijuana prohibition in the most populous state in the union will affect the conversation in the coming year.