The state's election chief has certified that enough valid signatures were gathered to put the measure to a vote. The initiative would allow adults 21 or older to buy, grow or possess up to an ounce of pot for personal consumption. State officials estimate that legalization would save "tens of millions of dollars" in law enforcement costs and generate "potentially major" revenue from the production and sale of marijuana.
Opponents counter that legalization would increase use of marijuana and potentially other drugs, cause similar problems associated with alcohol and tobacco, and boost crime and add to police work.
As with the legalization of medical marijuana, the state would be at odds with the federal government if voters approve. Possession, sale and transport of marijuana are still federal crimes, and the nation's drug czar recently denounced the legalization effort in a speech to police.
Here's the summary of what the initiative would do:
Allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Permits local governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of marijuana to people 21 years old or older. Prohibits people from possessing marijuana on school grounds, using it in public, smoking it while minors are present, or providing it to anyone under 21 years old. Maintains current prohibitions against driving while impaired. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Savings of up to several tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Unknown but potentially major tax, fee, and benefit assessment revenues to state and local government related to the production and sale of marijuana products.
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