Weed smokers in Washington state and Colorado should be filled with joy Wednesday (November 7), because voters have helped pass a new measure to legalize the sale of marijuana to adults for recreational use.
Colorado will allow adults over 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, though using the drug publicly would be banned. The amendment would allow people to grow up to six marijuana plants in a private, secure area. And, Washington’s measure establishes a system of state-licensed marijuana growers, processors and stores, where adults can buy up to an ounce. It also establishes a standard blood test limit for driving under the influence.
According to the Associated Press, the passing of Amendment 64 in Colorado and Washington will likely pose a headache for the U.S. Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which consider pot an illegal drug.
At press time, the departments declined to say how it would respond if the measures were approved.
Around the country, other states voted on marijuana legislation as well.
Washington and Colorado were among six states with marijuana on their ballots. In Massachusetts, residents approved a measure to allow medical use, while Arkansas voters rejected such a proposal. Medical-marijuana use is already permitted in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Montana residents voted to restrict the use of medical marijuana, the Associated Press said.
So far, states that have approved medical marijuana have walked a fine line with federal laws that still prohibit the sale of marijuana under any circumstances. The full legalization of marijuana in these two states is expected to increase that tension between local and federal laws.