As a national push to decriminalize/legalize Marijuana has made its way to electoral ballots, three new places are now part of this historic push. After the 2014 midterm elections, Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. will join Colorado and the state of Washington to allow the use of recreational marijuana.
For Oregonians, laws reportedly won’t be in affect until July of 2015, recreational sales won’t begin until January 2016. According to KGW, anyone 21 and over will be allowed to possess up to 8 ounces/4 plants of marijuana. Smoking in public places will remain illegal, however, it will be perfectly legal in the confinements of one’s house or private property.
For Alaskans, laws won’t be in affect until 90 days after Tuesday’s election. Gawker reports that Alaskans will get to possess up to one ounce of marijuana/6 plants. Gawker reports that businesses won’t be established until 9 month. Smoking in public will remain illegal as well.
For citizens of the Nation’s Capital, the vote to pass legalization of Marijuana is a little tricky. Due to D.C. being Capitol Hill, Congress has the right to a 60 day review to “overturn and amend” the current law. Essentially, this means marijuana will be legalized, however, not in a way that will open for business. This will create a paradox because smoking will be legal, however, the distribution of marijuana won’t come from recreational stores; ultimately leaving D.C. citizens to go back to the black market. Now that the House and Senate are controlled by Conservatives, D.C. most likely won’t have a good chance of keeping the legalization of Marijuana alive. However, we will see. If the current law holds, anyone 21 and over will be allowed to possess and purchase up to 2 ounces. Moreover, they too will be allowed to grow up to 6 plants in their house.
Aside from the notion that people solely want to use marijuana for personal gain, the aforementioned places now will have the power to tax and place revenue to help build their communities. For example, take a look at Colorado’s tax revenue. According to reports, Colorado’s school districts saw millions of tax revenue go into their funding budget thanks to an increase in recreational sales.
Based on Tuesday’s results, it’s going to be very interesting to see how the rest of the nation reacts to the various decriminalization/legalization laws of marijuana.