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March 25th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

California to vote to legalize marijuana

(CNN) – Marijuana supporters are celebrating a big political step forward. California may become the very first state to legalize recreational pot use.

The measure will be on the ballot in November and, if passed, could bring in some much-needed tax money for the cash-strapped state. Our Dan Simon talked to people on both sides of the debate.

Filed under: Drugs
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Erin Woo


    Hemp could be the new corn...

    March 30, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  2. annette

    All i can say is AWESOME! this is long overdue. Instead of wasting tax money, lets make some!

    March 30, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
  3. matt

    The best argument that i haven't even heard yet is the obsity rate is already extreme, and when we are all sharing health care guess they will just have to limit people on there intake, and good old Uncle Sam will probly use that as an excuse to out law it again in the future. Insurance drug testing deter a large amount of people from partaking. If legal the demand would be incredable, but drug tests (Violation of 4th ammendment) would detur many from out of state but it's a start.

    March 27, 2010 at 12:12 am |
  4. Charlotte W.

    I know of so many of our young children, who are walking a thin line, of being caught and sent to jail for smoking Marijuana.

    They smoke it before school, after school, before their parents get home from work, they smoke it at sleep overs, at parties, walking down the street....where ever they can get in a PUFF.

    So, i have NO objections to having it legalized. Oh! yeah, granny is smoking it too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  5. Anya

    With the drug war imploding the country of Mexico, its high time we started looking at taking away the the incentive, money, from the illegal drug cartels. Legalize it like they did away with prohibition and the criminals will be left jobless.

    March 26, 2010 at 7:13 am |
  6. John Crawford II

    This would be a step forward in the right direction. This whole controversy on marijuana was built on a lie and fed by fear. Get over it america!!! Alcohol and tobacco have killed more and it still remains legal......

    March 26, 2010 at 6:08 am |
  7. matt

    I believe that marijuana should be legal. The gov. could still criminalize it even, illegal to ship into the country or sell without license. The cartel wouldn't have the six billion dollars a year (what we estimate based off of what we catch) to fund the wars in Mexico. Taxing would also mean funding for housing, health care, and other programs as such. However it doesn't matter if its legal because people will still smoke it anyway.

    March 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  8. Franklin L. Piehl

    Good now let the rest of the country fall in line.

    March 25, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  9. Billy

    Legalizing pot could achieve a lot. The price would drop, taxes could be raised. And most importantly, law enforcement officials could spend time on more important issues such as violent crime and fraud. Millions of people who are otherwise law abiding citizens would no longer be breaking the law. Also, let's not fool ourselves that prohibition has anything to with availability. Anyone, anywhere in the US can obtain marijuana in a matter of minutes or hours. The "war on drugs" was lost the day it started. This is an issue of individual choice and responsibility. Those that will use or abuse it will do so regardless of the laws. Why do I suspect that the majority of those opposed to legalization are also whining about how the government is getting too big,interfering with our individual rights? It's time to end the hypocrisy. It's time to change.

    March 25, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  10. ronvandm

    Although I really do not agree it makes sense! California seems to lead the way in the ABSTRACT, but in this case I am more interested in seeing what the outcome is. WILL it really put a dent in the drug trade? And how much "oversight" will be done to insure the drug dealers do not get involved? The sad fact is that people are getting MJ on a daily basis, and trying to stop it has been a complete failure.
    POSSIBLY by making it legal it will put a dent in the drug trade, and bring money into california. Only time will tell if it passes.

    March 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  11. Brian

    Historic statewide initiative in California to legalize, control, and tax cannabis. Help build national support for the movement. Sign up on the website, join the campaign!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  12. JazzyJean

    What ? Little Dutchdom? Netherworld? And as the saying goes, God made the world but the Dutch made Holland (and California). And the world is going to hell in a hand basket...

    March 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  13. Not 18 yet :D

    The way i see it is marijuana is already legal in some way. All you have to do to obtain it is walk down the block from my school and you can get some. I think it's better to buy from a store than going to a drug dealer because in my opinion they are more dangerous.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  14. Darrien

    If regulated like alcohol then this could be the key to the economic recovery of California. Its was the legalization of alcohol that aided in the nations recovery from the Great Depression. New farms for harvesting and new factories for refining means new jobs, new jobs means less people one unemployment, which means more money being put into the economy. Hopefully people will look past the stigmata that Marijuana conjures up and look at what this could actually do for California, and possibly the nation too.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  15. Thomas

    As it is supposed to be. The voters will decide not politicians. Of course they elected Pelosi so who knows what is best at least they get to vote on this one not like health care. Wonder if cigarette laws will apple to MJ?

    March 25, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  16. Abe

    CNN, I am trying to understand the thinking of those who tell us marijuana is bad and here is the strangest smoking gun I discovered while googling:

    "police chief arrested for drunk driving" Results 1 – 10 of about 234,000 for police chief arrested for drunk driving.

    "police officer arrested for drunk driving" Results 1 – 10 of about 703,000 for police officer arrested for drunk driving.

    "District attorney arrested for drunk driving" Results 1 – 10 of about 253,000 for District attorney arrested for drunk driving.

    I conclude based on these results those marijuana prohibitionist folks need to pluck the log out of their own eyes before warning us about the speck in ours.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  17. Chris

    This is great but too bad it's in November. I may be moving out west in the winter. It will be safer than beer, wine, liquor, while at the same time put a major dent in criminal organization.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  18. Samantha Price

    Personally, I think marijuana should be legalized because just because it's technically "illegal" people are still going to smoke it no matter what anyone says about it. You can put people in jail all you want but it's just going to make matters worse.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  19. bryan

    they have no argument to go against it! they talk about how it adds another mind altering drug that will ABSOLUTELY result in direct criminal activities. Yet, it is a FACT that more criminal activity is a result of the lack of regulation of marijuana (think mexico drug cartels). not to mention, the amount of money that will be saved by not having people in jail who got caught addition to the tax dollars. no reason to not approve this.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  20. Concerned Parent

    Hopefully all of the parents and grandparents in California will ask themselves, "If your young adult child or grandchild got caught with a little marijuana, would you want him or her to go to jail?"

    It's time to stop locking up our own children.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  21. anthony s

    think about the tourism dollars this could generate! California is pumping their visit California commercials! They need the inflows of cash.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:08 am |