Spark it Up — Pot Now Legal in Colorado, Washington

Forget Amsterdam – IBN reports that, with this election, recreation marijuana use is now legal in not only Colorado but Washington state as well.

We reported earlier that measures to legalize marijuana for personal use that marijuana legalization was on the ballot this year for Oregon, Washington and Colorado to go beyond simply making it legal for patients but allowing general use by adults as well. While the measure didn’t pass in Oregon it did see success in Washington and Colorado, marking landmark changes to the way some states are viewing the substance.

So what does this mean for you as a consumer?

Sorry kids, you still can’t go out and buy a baggie at your local store. Much like alcohol and tobacco, marijuana use is being regulated by the states in order to allow controlled consumption for adults within state boundaries. This means that anyone over 21 in Colorado, for instance, can legally buy and use a full ounce of marijuana at any given time. You can also grow up to six full plants for personal use, though it has to be in a controlled environment and kept out of the hands of minors (just like alcohol).

While these state laws are in direct violation of national law classifying marijuana as a harmful narcotic the federal government is yet to issue any directive to counteract state legislation in this matter.

For those of you who don’t know marijuana was first declared illegal at a federal level in 1937, with some reports dating back to state regulations of the drug taking place as early as 1905. With the legalization of it in 2012 this marks the end of 75 years of it being banned across the country. Some supporters of the acts are calling this move similar to what brought about the end of Prohibition, what has been widely declared a failed attempt to ban the selling and consumption of alcohol within the US from 1920 to 1933. (Oddly enough, despite its short ban many news agencies including CBN News have even reported alcohol as the most dangerous social drug out there today, not marijuana, with some stating that alcohol is more dangerous than heroin even.)

According to Politico the ballot measures for legalizing marijuana passed (and failed) as follows:

Colorado: PASS (54% yes, 46% no)
Oregon: FAIL (44.8% yes, 55.2% no)
Washington: PASS (55.4% yes, 44.6% no)

As an interesting side point, medical marijuana has also been approved in one of the first cases ever on the east coast, with Massachusetts passing a bill supporting it at 63.4% yes vs 36.6% no.

Times are changing indeed.