Now recreational use has been legalized in those three states along with Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, and Washington, D.C. With the addition of the new states, the amount of Americans living in a state where recreational marijuana use is legal increased from 5 to 20 percent.
Effective at midnight Wednesday, residents and visitors over the age of 21 in the three states will be able to possess up to an ounce for recreational use. Californians will be able to grow up to six plants in private residence, if they are hidden from public view.
Sale of recreational marijuana will take much longer to come into effect. Dispensaries must wait for licenses, a process that could take at least two years.
The newly-legalized states already see some of the highest tourism numbers in the country. California is already the most popular state for tourism in the country. Nevada is ranked third.
California is expected to see huge growth in the marijuana tourism industry. Many are projecting that the state could turn into a super-producer of the plant.
The entire west coast has become a marijuana bloc, with Colorado and Nevada extending the reach.
Since Colorado legalized recreational pot in 2014, the state has seen growth in its tourism. The state has reported that availability of marijuana positively influenced 23 percent of trips to Colorado, and 11 percent of visitors over the age of 25 have visited a dispensary.
But there have also been several instances of marijuana tourists requiring medical attention after enjoying too much on their trip; The number of out-of-staters who ended up in the hospital doubled when pot was legalized in Colorado. And pot tourists remain in need of education about local laws. Even though recreational marijuana is legal, it is illegal to smoke in public and most hotels prohibit smoking in rooms.
Residents of Maine also voted on legalization, but as of Wednesday morning, the vote remains too close to call. Arizona voters rejected legalization while voters in Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota voted to legalize medical pot.
In October, a Gallup poll found that nationwide support for recreational pot legalization is at 60 percentthe highest it has been since the organization started tracking the issue 47 years ago.
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