In less than a month, Californians will vote on the legalization of marijuana, Proposition 64. While California was the first state to pass legislation for medical marijuana, legalizing recreational use has proven to be more difficult. But, 2016 is likely to be the year that everything changes, not just in California—but across the country.
Today, 25 states have medical marijuana programs and four states have legalized the use of marijuana for adults. More states are going to vote on both medical cannabis and legalization, and in some state such legislation is expected to pass. We are currently sitting on a precipice regarding the future of marijuana in this country. As more and more states take a softer stance on marijuana, it is likely that adult cannabis use will become legal on the federal level before too long.
In the United States, the majority of nonviolent drug offenders are behind bars for a marijuana possession charge. People’s lives have gone into a tailspin due to their use of a drug that is considered by many to be benign, and many feel users should not have to worry about doing jail time. Relieving some of the burden on our penal institutions is one of the central arguments to legalization.
While marijuana is a far cry from, let’s say heroin, it is still an addictive substance that can lead to and have a negative impact on people’s lives. Those against legalization efforts typically cite concerns about teenage marijuana use. Health experts widely agree that marijuana can wreak havoc on the developing brain. Nevertheless, it is likely Prop. 64 will pass regardless of health concerns. The Los Angeles Times conducted a poll which found that 58-percent of California voters are in favor of legalization.
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Ronald G. Brower is a criminal defense attorney in Southern California. Based out of Orange County, Attorney Brower has represented individuals charged with crimes in state and federal court.
Contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower online or by telephone at 714-997-4400.
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