Calif. to vote on legalizing marijuana

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OAKLAND, CALIF. – For those who have long argued that smoking marijuana should not be a crime, a potentially historic turning point is just weeks away.

Voters in California will decide Nov. 2 whether to make their state the first to legalize the growing, selling and recreational use of marijuana. And polls here – the nation’s most populous state – suggest that residents are about evenly split on the issue.

Proposition 19, as it is known, would take away criminal penalties for people 21 and older for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana.

If it becomes law, it would mark yet another legal milestone for the state. Fourteen years ago, California became the first to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Since then, 13 other states and the District have followed suit.

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