California blazin’

By Shannon Tseng | Staff Writer

Smoke away–weed is now legal in California! Well, not really. On Oct. 9, governor Jerry Brown signed the Marijuana Control, Legalization, and Revenue Act into law, which will take into effect January 2016. After years of grueling battles over this controversial issues, those with health issues that are treatable with medical cannabis can finally receive treatment legally. Some qualifying conditions include anorexia, AIDS, and arthritis. With physician approval, patients can even grow marijuana in their own homes.

Marijuana isn’t the only thing being legalized: now every Californian, documented or not, is eligible to obtain a driver’s license under the Safe and Responsible Driver Act. Before 1994, all immigrants were allowed to obtain driver’s licenses. After the right was revoked, immigrants rallied together to push for reform. Although the bill was passed two years ago, it didn’t go into effect until 2015. Since the law allows illegal immigrants to apply for licenses, the DMV expects a huge influx of applicants.

The government also passed legislation regarding the medical field, too. Euthanasia, the act of putting a patient with a painful terminal illness to death, was also legalized under the End of Life Option Act. Patients with degenerative diseases like ALS suffer excruciating pain in the later stages of the disease; by allowing the option of death, patients enjoy their last days happily instead of in pain.

The laws mentioned above are only a few of the many new California laws passed in 2015. As society evolves, so do our laws. But whether they change for the better or worse is ultimately up to us.