Home > Health/Pharma > Colorado and Washington vote to become first US states to legalize marijuana

Colorado and Washington vote to become first US states to legalize marijuana

Published: 07 November, 2012, 09:06

(AFP Photo / Gabriel Bouys)
(AFP Photo / Gabriel Bouys)

Marijuana is now legal in Colorado and Washington for recreational use, and possibly in Oregon as well.

While the decision in Colorado is historic, it was not without controversy: The measure won by a close six-point margin, 53% in favor to 47% opposed. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was an ardent opponent to the legalizaiton of recreational marijuana use, and reacted to the decision in the following statement: “The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will. This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”

Proponents of the initiative argued that pot is safer than alcohol, and that the legal sale of marijuana could rake in $45 to 100 billion in tax revenue, according to Bloomberg. The government will also save an estimated $14 billion in cannabis-related costs in fighting the war on drugs.

Massachusetts and Arkansas have also passed ballot initiatives allowing use of marijuana for medical purposes. These are two of the six states debating medical marijuana laws in 2012, a concept already accepted in around a third of US states. In California, a state often seen at the vanguard of the medical marijuana movement, there are more than 1,000 pot dispensaries in operation. It is also estimated that there are more facilities that sell medical marijuana in Colorado than there are Starbucks coffeehouses.

Read more: http://rt.com/usa/news/marijuana-colorado-first-legalize-125/

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