Voters on Tuesday approved Proposition 64, making California the most populous state in the nation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
The approval of the ballot measure creates the largest market for marijuana products in the U.S. It comes six years after California voters narrowly rejected a similar measure. Activists said passage would be an important moment in a fight for marijuana legalization across the U.S.
“We are very excited that citizens of California voted to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition,” said Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Assn. “Proposition 64 will allow California to take its rightful place as the center of cannabis innovation, research and development.”
Discouraged law enforcement officials said they will closely monitor implementation of the ballot measure.
“We are, of course, disappointed that the self-serving moneyed interests behind this marijuana business plan prevailed at the cost of public health, safety, and the wellbeing of our communities,” said Chief Ken Corney, president of the California Police Chiefs Assn.
“We will take a thorough look at the flaws in Proposition 64 that will negatively impact public health and safety, such as the initiative’s substandard advertising restrictions and lack of prosecutorial tools for driving under the influence of marijuana, and begin to develop legislative solutions,” Corney added.