2 American States and a federal district voted in favor of cannabis legalization this week. Following on the heels of the Colorado and Washington State; Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC have now ditched prohibition for a form of legal regulation. The votes of November 2014 will be remembered as a great victory by the cannabis community, most of all those who worked on the successful campaigns in Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC.
Here is a quick rundown of these new regulations:
Oregon passed 54% of the vote.
Measure 91 permits adults to possess eight ounces of “dried” marijuana at home and up to one ounce in public. It allows for individuals to grow up to four plants. The measure tasks the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with regulating sales. It authorizes in-state manufacture, processing and sale of marijuana by/to adults as well as licensing, regulation, taxation by state. The measure retains the current medical marijuana laws.
The full text of the measure can be read here.
Alaska passed with 52% of the vote.
Measure 2 legalizes the possession, use, presentation, purchase, transport and production of set amounts of marijuana for recreational use. Adults age 21 and older are allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants (with no more than three being mature) for personal use. It will also make the manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana paraphernalia legal. Use in public is still prohibited.
The full initiative text can be read here
Washington DC passed with 64% of the vote.
Initiative 71, which will take effect after a 30-day congressional review period, will legalize the possession and use of up to two ounces of cannabis and cultivation of up to three mature marijuana plants for those 21 and older. Legalization was a landslide in DC despite a recently passed decriminalization bill. The initiative does not permit the sale of cannabis but does allow transfer without payment of up to one ounce to another adult. It also allows residents to use or sell drug paraphernalia for the use, growing, or processing of cannabis.
The full text of the legislation here
While allowing these states to experiment with regulations, the federal government and the DEA maintain that cannabis is a schedule one drug: they wouldn’t let you use it even if you were supervised by a doctor. Given the landslide 64% vote in favor of cannabis in Washington DC, perhaps the views of nations capital will change as they see first hand the benefits of putting an end to cannabis prohibition.
(Image: Cannabis Culture)
Canada has been following on the heels of the United States for years. The conservative governments’ recent introduction of mandatory minimum sentences for cannabis growing echoes the policies of previous U.S. administrations. If the trend of following our neighbor is to continue, Canada will soon see the pendulum swing back in the direction of a legal, regulated future with cannabis in modern society. With Justin Trudeau’s liberals calling for legalization in the 2015 federal election, perhaps Canada will soon have it’s own vote to end cannabis prohibition.