Sean Parker, Former Facebook President, Behind Marijuana Legalization in California 2016


Two California initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana in the Golden State, one backed by billionaire and former Facebook president Sean Parker, came together this week to amplify their shot at landing a spot on the 2016 ballot. 

The collaboration comes after the two groups negotiated for weeks behind the scenes and came to the conclusion that competing against each other would weaken the possibility that either initiative would be on the ballot in California on Election Day. The state's Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform both support the initiative, Reuters reported.

Paul Sakuma/AP

This move comes after Parker's group had amendments added to its initiative that grant local government more control over where marijuana can be sold and increase protection for children by prohibiting any advertisements aimed at minors. 

California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 with the California Compassionate Use Act, which made it legal for patients to cultivate and use marijuana as medical treatment with the recommendation of a California-licensed doctor. It's now one of 23 states where medical marijuana is legal, Reuters reported.

A new app introduced Monday called EazeMD allows patients in California to receive a medical recommendation for marijuana without leaving the house, by connecting them to doctors through video chat and then setting up a delivery. 

Colorado, Washington and Oregon are the only three states where recreational marijuana is currently legal, Reuters reported, but several other states — including Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Arizona — all have strongly backed initiatives working to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016.