In the midst of the incredible election fever sweeping America – and to be fair, the world – a small sliver of good news slipped through the net.
In great news for weed smokers, California has voted to approve marijuana for recreational use, reports the Huffington Post.
The state will now tax and regulate marijuana – much like alcohol – rather than criminalising it.
It is the sixth state to do so after Colorado, Washington state, Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C all voted to legalise the lovely herb.
The new law permits people over 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, to grow up to six plants at home and to allow state-licensed retailers to sell weed to adults.
It will be just over a year before the state begins issuing licenses – although regulators will have the authority to issue temporary permits to some existing medical marijuana businesses.
The new law – Proposition 64 – will impose a 15 per cent tax on all retail marijuana sales to help fund the new regulatory scheme.
There promises to be additional money for youth substance abuse education programs, law enforcement training and environmental cleanup and restoration of public lands that have been damaged by illegal marijuana cultivation.
What is more, a recent report found that legal marijuana will generate almost $1 billion annually once the system is fully implemented and analysts predict the measure will save the state’s criminal justice system as much as $100 million a year – nice!
It’s also great news for people who’ve previously ‘fallen fowl’ of weed laws as individuals with marijuana-related convictions that aren’t a crime under the new law can petition courts to have their record cleared or changed to reflect the new law.
All sounds good to me…