Speed Reads

legal high

California becomes the largest state to legalize recreational marijuana

At midnight, California became the most populous state in the country to legalize marijuana after voters overwhelmingly approved the drug for recreational use in November 2016. "This is essentially going to eliminate prohibition on the plant of the last 400 years and return the plant back to the people," the CEO of a Santa Cruz dispensary, Khalil Moutawakkil, told the Los Angeles Times.

Still, just 49 retail licenses for pot have been issued by the state so far as the majority of cities in California have moved slowly on the rollout; Los Angeles, for example, delayed accepting applications until Jan. 3.

By the end of 2019, though, legal sales could top $5 billion, Newsweek reports — meaning marijuana could eventually bring in more revenue than beer in the Golden State.