By Samuel Stebbins and Thomas C. Frohlich, 247WallSt.com
> Pct. using marijuana in past year: 14.9%
> Total users: 4,633,000 (the highest)
> Pct. using illicit drugs other than marijuana in past month: 4.2% (3rd highest)
> Max. fine for possession: $500
Nearly 15% of California residents 12 years and older said they smoked marijuana in the past year, the 12th highest share of all states. California was the first state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana use. Proposition 215 passed with 56% of the vote in 1996 and erased criminal penalties for possession of the drug. Now, Californians are permitted the possession of as much as 8 ounces of usable marijuana, six mature plants, and 12 immature plants for medical use. With a physician’s recommendation, a patient may be treated with marijuana for AIDS, anorexia, arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, and seizures associated with a range of conditions including epilepsy.