California has become the largest American state to legalize the sales of marijuana for recreational use. In November 2016, citizens in the state voted in favour of a proposition that would allow citizens to possess small amounts of the substance. It is now legal to grow six plants of your own or have an ounce of pot.
About 90 licences are to be handed out statewide to shops that want to sell recreational marijuana. In the last two decades, special shops have been allowed to sell marijuana only for medical reasons, in order to treat pain and anxiety. People who want to buy medical marijuana need a prescription from a doctor.
Apart from legalizing the drug, there will be strict controls monitored by state authorities. Californians will not be allowed to consume marijuana in public places or near schools. Local governments will be able to set up their own rules on where smoking is allowed.
Despite this new state law, the federal government still looks at marijuana as an illegal substance. California has become the eighth state to legalize the drug.
In 2016 California produced about 13 million pounds of pot. 80% of it was transferred illegally out of the state.The illegal marijuana market, currently at 5 billion dollars, is expected to grow to 7 billion in California by 2020. In addition, the state will be able to generate additional taxes from selling legal marijuana.
Shopkeepers who have been able to sell medical marijuana are worried that prices will go up because of additional taxes. Some fear that additional licences could ruin their business.
- additional = extra
- anxiety = feeling worried about or afraid of something
- apart from = besides
- authorities = organisation that can make decisions
- billion = a thousand million
- citizen = person who lives in a place and has rights there
- consume = here: smoke
- currently = at the moment
- decade = ten years
- despite = even though
- federal government = the government of the United States, not the state government
- generate = produce, get
- government = people who rule a country or state
- hand out = give to someone
- illegal substance = drug that is not allowed
- in addition = also
- in favour of = to be for something
- legal = allowed
- legalize = allow
- licence = here: a document that allows you to sell something
- marijuana = illegal drug that is smoked like a cigarette
- monitor = to watch carefully
- ounce = unit for measuring weight = 28.35 grams
- pain = feeling you have when something hurts
- possess = own, have
- pot = another word for marijuana
- prescription = piece of paper on which a doctor writes down what medicine you need
- proposition = a suggested change of the law
- public place = place where everyone can go to
- recreational use = for fun or pleasure
- ruin = destroy
- small amounts = a little bit
- statewide = in the whole state
- substance = material ; here: drug
- transfer = take, carry
- treat = to try to help if oyu have an illness