Yes, two states, Colorado and Washington, are the first to do what many expected would be done years ago and legalized recreational marijuana in Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012′s election. Oregon, however, was not as forward looking and their recreational marijuana initiative lost with 55% opposed.
Now this is not medical marijuana, which has been legal in California and some other states for years. You do not need to go to a doctor to get a prescription for this in order not to be busted for having a joint or two in your possession. The Huffington Post reported a surprising vote of support from law enforcement on this issue: “The successful pro-pot campaigns prominently featured the voices of law enforcement officials who testified firsthand about the corrosive impact of the war on drugs. There was no reason to prohibit marijuana, they suggested, when far more destructive drugs like alcohol were legal.” Part of the reasoning in the success of these measures is that the war on drugs is costing trillions of dollars and not getting particularly far. These law enforcement proponents feel it is time and money wasted to go arrest the after work joint smoker when cocaine king pins are out there.
The Washington legalization was approved by 56% of the electorate and in Colorado by 54%. However, before you light up in either state, it should be remembered that marijuana is still an illegal under Federal Law. Now the fun will begin in seeing how these states can implement their laws and get the tax revenues from them without the Federal Government stepping in and shutting them down. It is a great trend just as the medical marijuana legalization was, but it could be one that has both states arguing in front of the Supreme Court and don’t be expecting this Court to light up too soon.