Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes thus far. Many more states are considering doing the same in the Nov. 2016 elections. One of the most consequential of those states is California. Its sheer size and population would drastically change the marijuana game if legalized outright.
Consider this: The total combined population of all four states where marijuana is already legal is approximately 17.21 million people, according to United States Census data. California’s population, at approximately 38.8 million, is more than double that.
So if California legalizes marijuana outright, a substantially larger pool of adults will be able to participate in the marijuana retail marketplace.
Chances look pretty good that California could pass marijuana legalization laws next fall.
Already 18 marijuana legalization initiatives have been submitted to California’s attorney general’s office. Nine of them have been okayed to begin collecting signatures to qualify for the 2016 elections, as reported by The Guardian.
And a June 2015 poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found 54 percent of Californian’s support legalization.
California already has a thriving medical marijuana market. It was the very first state to legalize medical cannabis in 1996.