Marijuana Approved for Recreation Use in Colorado
and Washington... but the Federal Government Still Says It's Illegal
Voters in Colorado
and Washington state legalized the recreational use of marijuana
last night, placing the drug nearly on par with alcohol and cigarettes
for the first time in U.S. history.
For the first
time, residents of both states will soon be able to walk into dispensaries
and purchase up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use no
prescription required. Users only have to prove they are at least
states and the District of Columbia have approved marijuana for
medical use, but it requires a doctor's prescription and certification
that it will be used to treat a chronic health condition.
measures in the two western states defy the federal government,
which still views marijuana as a controlled substance. It is unknown
how the Obama Administration will handle the state laws which
are still superseded by the federal prohibition.
Department could potentially sue the states and block the laws entirely.
have stayed silent on the issue during the election, though they
have taken only small steps to crack down on state-sanctioned dispensaries
and growers in places like California
still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don't break out the
Cheetos or gold fish too quickly,' Colorado Gov John Hickenlooper,
a Democrat who opposed legalization, warned supporters celebrating
legalizing marijuana will result in more abuse of the drug by children,
as well as increased numbers of impaired who get behind the wheel
under the influence.
Initiative 502 passed by a massive 10-pount margin, 55 percent to
45 percent. It allows adults over age 21 to buy up to an ounce of
marijuana from heavily-taxed state-run drug dispensaries.
poured money into the campaign, raising more than $6million, some
which is spent on TV ads.
Amendment 64 passed 53 to 47 percent. Colorado residents over age
21 will be able to purchase up an one ounce of the drug from heavily-regulated,
privately-run retail stores. It's also legal to grow up to six marijuana
Voters in Oregon
rejected a marijuana-legalization bill that was even more liberal
than those proposed in Washington and Colorado. It trailed by 10
percentage points and was roundly rejected in most counties last
voters approved the medical use of marijuana last night, though
voters in Arkansas rejected a similar measure.
state of Washington looked at 70 years of marijuana prohibition
and said it's time for a new approach,' said Alison Holcomb, manager
of the campaign that won passage of Initiative 502 in Washington.
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