Colorado and Washington became the first U.S. states to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use on Tuesday in defiance of federal law, setting the stage for a possible showdown with the Obama administration.
But another ballot measure to remove criminal penalties for personal possession and cultivation of recreational cannabis was defeated in Oregon, where significantly less money and campaign organization was devoted to the cause.
Supporters of a Colorado constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana were the first to declare victory, and opponents conceded defeat, after returns showed the measure garnering nearly 53 percent of the vote versus 47 percent against.Polls for the last couple of years have shown that marijuana has been gaining acceptance by a majority of the population, even those who do not condone the activity, but recognize that deeming something illegal where there are no victims is an abuse of government power. That doesn't even get into the idea that alcohol and tobacco are legal and regulated, but have negative health and social effects that marijuana does not.
The state has no real authority to regulate drugs, they have seized this for themselves without the consent of the population. This was not an enumerated power. In addition, a naturally occurring plant is not a drug. The number of real drugs that the government approves through the FDA that have negative health effects on users far overshadow those which are outside of it's invalid jurisdiction (any non-consensual act by an outside force is immoral and unjust).
"Colorado will no longer have laws that steer people toward using alcohol, and adults will be free to use marijuana instead if that is what they prefer. And we will be better off as a society because of it," said Mason Tvert, co-director of the Colorado pro-legalization campaign.The economic benefits of the end of prohibition will be significant, including a decrease in the amount of wasteful cases ending up in the court system. I only hope that it becomes applied retroactively, and that anyone serving time for possession charges is able to appeal and gain the freedom they deserve.
The Drug Policy Alliance, a national advocacy group that backed the initiatives, said the outcome in Washington and Colorado reflected growing national support for liberalized pot laws, citing a Gallup poll last year that found 50 percent of Americans favored making it legal, versus 46 opposed.I see it as only a matter of time before the Tenth Amendment is once again seen as being the way in which the Constitution was intended to limit the power of the federal government, allowing the states the final say on issues such as this.
Supporters of Washington state's pot legalization initiative declared victory after the Seattle Times and other media projected a win for marijuana proponents.
Early returns showed pro-legalization votes led with 55 percent versus to 44 percent opposed with about 60 percent of ballots tallied in the state's all-mail-in election system.
The outcomes in Colorado and Washington, which already have laws on the books legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, put both states in further conflict with the federal government, which classifies cannabis as an illegal narcotic.It is the federal government which is in conflict, and as more states refuse to oppress their residents, the federal government begins to lose consent and power. Small moves, Ellie.
Read on: Colorado, Washington first states to legalize recreational pot | Reuters