According to a recent article in the L.A. Times, a ballot initiative that, if passed, would legalize marijuana state wide is slated to be put on the 2010 general election ballot.
It would be a substantial breakthrough for California, which was the country's leader in decriminalizing marijuana for individual use and in developing medicinal marijuana.
Thankfully, it would also eliminate the contradictions that currently exist in the law that lead to absurd and incredibly unjust outcomes. I am specifically referring to the drastic difference in penalties for posessing less than an ounce of marijuana and selling less than an ounce of marijuana.
While mere posession of less than an ounce of marijuana (not hash, which is punishable by up to a year in jail for some other nonsensical reason) is punishable by a maximum $100 fine.
On the other hand, the very sale of that marijuana, even as small as a joint, is an automatic felony, subject to a low term of a year and four months and up to five years in state prison.
To decriminalize use, and yet maintain draconian penalties on those who cultivate and sell marijuana is absurd, achronistic, and an unjust, inhumane, and idiotic waste of judicial resources. Hopefully, California's voters will acknowledge this and pave the way for other states to legalize marijuana in the decade to come.