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Marijuana Legalization Across U.S. May Hinge on 2016 California Vote

Marijuana plants grow at the MedMar Healing Center, a medical-marijuana dispensary, in San Jose, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013.

Marijuana plants grow at the MedMar Healing Center, a medical-marijuana dispensary, in San Jose, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

A fight next year over whether to allow recreational marijuana use in California may serve as a tipping point as legalization proponents press their campaign in other U.S. states.

“A lot of eyes are on California,” Gavin Newsom, the state’s lieutenant governor and a legalization proponent, said in a phone interview. “It’s very different than almost any other state because of the scale and the magnitude of the change and what it will represent across the country.”