Via Reason, November 2010 might be the first big step towards marijuana legalization in the United States...ever:
Advocates of the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act say they have gathered more than enough signatures to qualify the initiative for California's November 2010 ballot. The measure would allow people 21 and older to grow marijuana for personal use and to possess up to an ounce. It would also allow licensed suppliers to grow and sell marijuana (up to an ounce at a time) to adults. Public consumption and consumption in the presence of minors would remain illegal. (The text of the initiative is here.) The measure's chief backer, Richard Lee (operator of Oaksterdam University and Coffeeshop Blue Sky in Oakland) told the San Francisco Chronicle "the petition drive collected more than 680,000 signatures in two months, less than half the time allowed for such a drive." Supporters need 433,971 valid signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. The Chronicle notes that "a recent California Field Poll suggested that a majority of California voters, 56 percent, support the idea of legalizing and taxing cannabis."
Of course, even if it passed there would still be some sort of conflict with the federal government, but something tells me that it won't be long after November 2010 that marijuana will be legally cultivated and sold in California.