Politics 2016: Recreational Marijuana Approved in California

California voters approved a ballot measure Tuesday allowing recreational marijuana in the nation’s most populous state, handing the legalization movement its biggest victory yet.

Voters in nine states considered proposals to expand legal access to the drug, which is still forbidden by the federal government.

California was the first state to approve medical marijuana two decades ago. It was among five states weighing whether to permit pot for adults for recreational purposes. The other states were Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.

Florida, one of three states deciding whether to permit marijuana for medical purposes, approved the idea. Montana voted on whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.

California’s vote means recreational cannabis will be legal along the entire West Coast, giving the legalization movement powerful momentum. That could spark similar efforts in other states and put pressure on federal authorities to ease longstanding rules that classify marijuana as a dangerously addictive drug with no medical benefits.