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1747881 tn?1546179478

A step in the right direction ?

Colorado, Washington Pot Legalization Deals Drug War Major Blow

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/colorado-washington-pot-legalization-_n_2086023.html

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.

"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 ***."

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."

22 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
Other than medical use, I sincerely doubt anything good will come from legalizing pot.  Scary times ahead I'm afraid.  But I'm one person and way outruled in my thinking here.  :>)
Avatar universal
I think I get what and how you're thinking.  I understand it... Looking at alcohol as a model, with all of the laws surrounding alcohol, its legal consumption, possession, sales etc.... it still ends up in the hands of minors or other people who are not so responsible.

I imagine the same thing will happen with weed, when and if it gets legalized.  But the fact remains, it is still getting into the hands of children/adolescents and some people who are not so responsible.  We talked about it before, perhaps on another cause, but where is the personal responsibility here?  

As a parent, it scares the $hit out of me regarding all of the crap out there that my kids may try.  I just have to hope that every single talk we've had about the subject sinks in.  Even as adults and making their own decisions, I really hope they stay away from all of that garbage.  I don't think weed is necessarily worse than alcohol, but I've seen alcohol ruin a lot of lives.... weed, not so much.

I've got a personal responsibility to not only my kids but to my wife and myself for flying right and its pretty easy to do.  I just hope all of the good examples around outweigh and of the negative examples out there.  
Avatar universal
imagine the same thing will happen with weed, when and if it gets legalized.  But the fact remains, it is still getting into the hands of children/adolescents and some people who are not so responsible.  We talked about it before, perhaps on another cause, but where is the personal responsibility here?  

Well said, Brice. I couldn't agree more.
1310633 tn?1430227691
Nothing good will come of this...
Avatar universal
The federal government will not let this go through.
Avatar universal
Hi guys :-)
206807 tn?1331939784
I personally don’t smoke it simply because I don’t like it. I guess I out grew it. If someone allows pot to control their lives, they’re to blame not the laws. If someone is going to be a skrew up, they’re going to be a skrew up. There will never be a Law that can stop them.
163305 tn?1333672171
Well, I think it's a good thing. I think having someone arrested every 42 seconds in the US for marijuana is a bad thing.

I drank coffee every morning for years. I never offered it to my kids until they were adults. Nobody is making pot accessible for kids.
Where I live there are dispensaries and you have to have a state issued card just to step in the front door.
I've passed adults smoking on the street, but not kids.
When I was in schoolchild, I remember kids smoking in the woods and that was years ago.  Illegality has never kept it out of kids hands. In fact, it makes it more enticing to some.

Pot indeed has many medicinal uses and I don't mind anyone smoking a joint OR having a glass of wine to relax with.What adults do to relax is none of my business. I don't want them driving or offering it to kids but this law is not about that.

This law is common sense. Prohibition on pot has only succeeded in filling jail cells.
377493 tn?1356505749
It truly does come down to people being responsible.  I know that I am one mother who will not allow her child to drink alcohol until he is of legal age.  Just the way I feel about it. Same thing with smoking, pot use, any of those things.  And hopefully I can teach him that although all of these things are in fact legal, they are not in his best interest.  As for folks that will sell it illegally - if they sell to a minor the repurcussions should be twice as tough as if they sell to an adult.  They need to get really really tough with dealers - way tougher then they currently are (at least in my country, perhaps the laws are tougher in the US).

I still maintain that the answer to drug use lies in education and rehabilition, not arrest and imprisonment.  The current war on drugs hasn't changed anything, so perhaps it is time to see if something else works.

SM, I so completely understand where you are coming from on this, I truly do.  My friend, I honestly hope your fears prove to go unfounded, for all of our childrens sake.  I know you hope that too.  At the end of the day we both want our kids to be safe and healthy and make good choices.
1530342 tn?1405020090
I'm moving to CO..LOL
1747881 tn?1546179478
Very well said !!!!
163305 tn?1333672171
I just saw this and thought of this thread.
Scroll down to the 16 facts about marijuana and the economy.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/amendment-64-passes-in-co_n_2079899.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular#slide=more221587
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