In 1996 California became the first state to legalize Medicinal Marijuana, and on November 2nd, 2016 after a number of thwarted attempts, they passed the highly contested Prop 64, otherwise known as the ‘Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act’. At 57%, it is so far the highest voter approval by state, and birthed the world’s largest legal cannabis market.
With its economic and political stronghold, all eyes are on California, as high level supporters predict this as a tipping point for other states, and federal law. But just four days after recreational sales began, Jeff Sessions withdrew The Cole memo,
putting the freeze on cannabis related banking activities and forcing California to find innovative ways to manage the exploding new market.
Regardless of these bullying tactics at the federal level, nothing can squash the relief as thousands convicted on cannabis charges begin filing for resentencing and wiping criminal records since the bill’s enactment.
"A lot of eyes are on California. It’s very different than almost any other state because of the scale and the magnitude of the change and what it will represent across the country."
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom
"Throughout my career in public policy and in public office, I have fought to reform or eliminate wasteful and ineffective government programs. There is no government program or policy I can think of that has failed in such a unique way as marijuana prohibition."