Colorado, Washington Pot Legalization Deals Drug War Major Blow

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Colorado Washington Legalized Marijuana 2012

Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in the prohibition era on Tuesday, dealing a major blow to the war on drugs. Medical marijuana was also legalized in Massachusetts, underlining long-running trends in public opinion toward more permissive attitudes on drugs. “To put this into historical context, there is no historical context,” said Tom Angell, spokesperson for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “It’s the first time any state has ever voted to legalize marijuana — and two of them did it.” The votes marked a significant shift from decades of tough-on-crime policies that burned through $1 trillion in tax dollars over 40 years, led to the arrest of 850,000 Americans for marijuana law violations in 2010 alone, and fueled the rise of deadly drug cartels abroad. But even as pot reformers celebrated their long-sought victories, the threat of a confrontation with the federal government loomed.

Both ballot measures would legalize recreational marijuana use only for adults, and cannabis would remain a controlled substance under federal law.

In Colorado, Amendment 64 won with 54 percent of the vote in favor to 46 percent opposed. The measure allows the cultivation and sale of marijuana. In Washington, Initiative 502 carried the day with 56 percent of the vote in support and 44 percent against with half of precincts reporting.

Oregon was the lone state where legalization appears to have lost, with 55 percent of voters opposed. Support there may have been hamstrung by the public profile of Measure 80’s primary backer, pot entrepreneur Paul Stanford, who was charged with failure to pay state income tax in 2011.

In California, a proposition that would reduce the severity of the state’s harsh “three strikes” law appeared to be leading in early returns, which could signal a general move toward more rehabilitative stances on criminal justice.

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.

Elsewhere in the nation, voters sent mixed messages on marijuana for medical use. Massachusetts legalized medical marijuana by a wide margin, becoming the 18th state to do so. The state of Arkansas, however, failed to become the first in the south to allow cancer patients and others relieve their pain with cannabis.

But there was reason for pause about marijuana reform as signs emerged that the Justice Department could move to block key elements of the ballot measures like tax collection. On Sunday, a former senior adviser to the Obama administration’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, Kevin Sabet, told NBC News that “once these states actually try to implement these laws, we will see an effort by the Feds to shut it down.”

“The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who opposed legalization, in a statement. “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.”

“What an insult to the majority of voters who did not follow your recommendation, governor,” responded Angell. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see that comment bite him in the ass.”

In both Washington and Colorado, action from the Justice Department could jeopardize marijuana tax revenues meant for state treasuries, a key element of selling legalization to undecided voters.

“Our work in Colorado and Washington is not yet done,” Angell said. “We still need to work on effectively implementing these laws … so that we can show that when you legalize marijuana, the sky doesn’t fall.”

News Hawk- TruthSeekr420 420 MAGAZINE
Source: huffingtonpost.com
Author: Matt Sledge
Contact: Contact us
Website: Colorado, Washington Pot Legalization Deals Drug War Major Blow

11 COMMENTS

  1. Glad to see this on the front page! It’s historical news, it’s first of it’s kind in this century type of news. A few days late, but better late than never! :)

  2. Oh you naysayers who slam legalization. Washington and Colorado have turned their back on the Dark Ages and legalized this beneficent plant. You so-called pro-mj posters (actually you’re not, you are just idiot stoners for prohibition) have no business being around weed if you are going to bitch and moan that the plant got legalized and complain about taxes. The price of weed will go down because it’s no longer on the black market, so the tax shouldn’t be much of an issue. I guess you stoners for legalization are just pissed because you can’t deal anymore in your underwear. Stoners against legalization are parasites. Screw you all. I am celebrating legalization, so go cry in your bongs bitches!

  3. Why do stoners against legalization types like yourself want to jail me for weed? You obviously support an apartheid system of medical haves and recreational have nots. Hey, but you got yours and to hell with everyone else, right? You are a parasite and you shouldn’t be around weed.

  4. I live in WA. I’m very happy this passed, and let me help out with a few facts. First, this will help with getting rid of the underground market, because as soon as people realize they can buy their cannabis from a brightly lit, friendly store they are going to stop visiting their dealers house. The prices will be competitive, that has already been stated. Second, the DUI thing is a complete fallacy. Before the bill passed, WA. had a zero tolerance law for cannabis, meaning if you had any of it in your system, you got a DUI. Did we have a rash of users getting DUI’ed? No, we did not. Now, we have a 5ng law, so you can have 5ng more of cannabis in your system than before. So how is that a bad thing? The law is now MORE lenient, not less lenient.

  5. First off A1 is not a parasite and happens to be very helpful in the grow room, and has earned his member of the month title. But the consumer wont pay 75% tax on a gram. When you go into a store a buy a gram you will have to pay the 25% tax plus 9.xx% sales tax which would make a $10 gram around $13.50. If you want to see a scary number break it down to what the grower is going to get after taxes for a gram. On a round about scale where a gram is $12 out the door plus taxes the grower would be getting less than $4 a gram revenue.

  6. I am a MMJ patient in Tucson, AZ and I am well within the states limits for what I am allowed to grow in fact I am under the limit of 12 plants I have 3. My primary care doctor was the one who said marijuana will be of beneficial use to me along with my pain management doctor but yet if there comes a time I can physically get back to work what will my rights be regarding my use of a Schedule 1 substance which has actually helped me fix my short term memory problems that I had. I am actually seeing better now without my eye glasses and my depression has vanished I can enjoy life again. I had to take time off my degree in which I am 50 with one more term to go for my BS in Communications degree in which my main goal is to be a public persuasion speaker.

  7. We shouldn’t have to pay higher taxes for marijuana to be legal. In fact higher taxes will probably hurt the mmj patients who cannot afford it, the cost will be too high. Not everyone has the type of living conditions to grow it.

  8. Alaskan1 Creating numbers that don’t exist yet I see? This wouldn’t be fuzzy math so it must be magic math ? :)

  9. EXCELLENT, WHAT AN ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC NEWS STORY, I WEEP IN GLEE!!

    F.T.W, LEGALIZE, EDUCATE, REGULATE AND MEDICATE!

  10. or you could move to Colorado. All this hate? We are going to take it slow and do it correctly. We have about a year to figure it out. We can grow and we do not have to have a mmj or “red card”. Keep it quiet though don’t need any haters in my state. HIcke’s funny, what is this 1990, its all about the Cherry Garcia.