3 states to vote on recreational pot use
National interest in legalizing marijuana grows as Washington, Oregon and Colorado take up the issue.
Is the United States on the verge of legalizing pot? Already 17 states and the District of Columbia allow the medical use of marijuana, and on Nov. 6, voters in three states will decide whether adults should be able to buy it for recreational use.
Ballot measures in Washington, Oregon and Colorado are in direct conflict with federal law, an issue that opponents hope will sway voters. But the measures are polling well in Washington and Colorado and getting support across the political spectrum, including from some high-profile conservative Republicans, The Washington Post reports.
The issue is in play on a national level, too. In Colorado alone, campaigns for and against the state's Amendment 64 have reportedly spent well over $3 million, much of it from out-of-state organizations on both sides. "This is a big deal, and I think the federal government knows that," said Sam Kamin, a law professor at the University of Denver. "And I think they're watching these elections very closely."
Supporters of legalized marijuana have also been more politically savvy in this round of elections, compared with during earlier efforts, such as a failed 2010 attempt in California. They are pointing to the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars that strictly regulated marijuana sales programs could bring to state coffers.
But Kamin, who has been closely watching the battle over Colorado's Amendment 64, believes those numbers are optimistic. "The extent to which this will become a large-scale industry really depends on federal acquiescence," he said. "If the feds come in and shut everyone down, it's not going to be a big boon for the cities and for the state government. (But) if it happens and this rivals tourism in attracting people to our state, this might provide some financial benefits."
Kamin and other observers also note a generational gap when it comes to the legalization issue, akin to how voters approach gay marriage. For younger voters, he says, "medical marijuana, legalization of marijuana is not something they're very troubled by. They're usually very pro. Similarly, gay marriage is not something that bothers them. It's only when you go up in years that you see strong opposition to it."
So is the tide turning? A Gallup poll taken last year said half of Americans surveyed favored the legalization of marijuana use, up from 46% in the previous year. And a recent Seattle Times editorial endorsed the state's Initiative 502, saying that, rather than continued criminalization of marijuana use, "the better policy is to legalize it, license it, regulate it and tax it."
But Kamin believes that, should these measures pass in any of the three states, it will only signal the beginning of the real battle over legalization.
"If it does pass somewhere, that does not mean that all of its provisions will go into effect right away," he says. "We may see a federal crackdown. We may see court challenges. It's sort of the start and not the end of what happens."
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Really big step for such a high scheduled narcotic the feds tell you...
Personally it should be decriminalized first, Taken off the schedule 1 drug rating.
That's just being honest and truthful the Herb is not harmful as some people still think...but I have to state that the voting on this agenda will fail because there is too much money and big business wanting to keep the plant/ cannabis illegal!!!!!!
"Take a puff of dat wild wood weed, and the next thing you know you're just wanderin' around behind the little animals."
Despite popular belief THE ENTIRE EFFING COUNTRY ISN'T GOING TO GO UP IN A CLOUD OF SMOKE IF IT IS LEGALIZED! The people who don't WANT to use marijuana will continue NOT to use it. The people that stay away from it because they don't think it's a good idea for their job or their family situation will continue to be smart about it and NOT use it. Sure, some people will TRY it. It's not heroin - one joint or half an ounce smoked over a few days/weeks isn't going to make someone a twitching, writhing addict.
DON'T GET FOOLED BY THE STEREOTYPES YOU SEE PORTRAYED IN MOVIES AND ON TV!! Normal, hard-working, SUCCESSFUL, every-day people smoke pot, too. Not just lazy hippies who work @ the local stop n shop or thrift store. Harold and Kumar/Cheech and Chong are NOT the majority of pot smokers. In fact they are the smallest minority.
The real issue here for me is why is it illegal? I have professional friends, a couple who are lawyers, several in various corporate management positions and in one case a doctor, all of who started using and continue to use marijuana since high school days. You wouldn't know they smoked pot to look at them unless maybe when they were actually high. They're all successful, they don't smoke it all day long, they've never commited crimes other then smoking pot. They're in their 50's now, they are in excellent health, have happy marriages, in short they're not negatively affected by their use in any way. Other friends who predominently use alcohol are overweight, have multiple health issues, failed marriages, lost jobs, have records for DUI and assault, in short they are very negatively affected. So why is it marijuana is illegal but alcohol is not? Obviously the government is not protecting us from harmful substances by the arbitrary illegalization of marijuana and the equally arbitrary legalization of alcohol or tobacco.
In making marijuana illegal all the US has succeeded in doing is to make the black market sales of marijuana very lucrative. Which is why gangs and drug cartels from other countries use marijuana to make money. One might ask why these gangs and cartels don't use alcohol? It's legal so smuggling it would be far less dangerous and it's relatively easy to make compared to growing marijuana. Also being legal there is a much bigger market. So why not use alcohol? The answer is because as a legal, regulated item it's much to affordable to make the kind of money marijuana can make. The only other thing the war on drugs has succeeded in doing is to fill an overloaded prison system with people who were otherwise law abidding citizens that could be contributing to the economy rather then be a drain on it by being warehoused on the taxpayers dime for a crime that harmed nobody. Plus having spent years in jail, when they get out they have no decent prospects in life with a criminal record and are far more likely to turn to a life of crime they learned while in prison.
The War On Drugs is a failed mission that has proven time and time again that it does not work. For every dealer that gets taken off the street more take his/her place. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It's time we try something different.
Does not even address taking 1000's of people out of jails at over 100K apeice a year-private prisons are not a good thing for this movement-nor are to many lawyers...follow the $. The $ generated would pay for treatment if set up correctly-the only way this should/will work. Better
treated addicts than treated criminal/addicts.
When are people going to realize that pot and pot smokers are the least of are proplems. To this day I have yet to here someone has died from using it,then some call it the gateway drug. We all know that alcohol wins that hands down yet you can buy it at every corner. This country spends millions on prisons,policetime,courts,and the list goes on and on. The only thing were doing is making real criminals out of inocent people,unless you believe prison rehabs people.I think Prison Companies have made enough on the American Public! Part of the money we will save can be used to get people off the hard drugs Heroin,Crack,and Meth the true killers.
What "medicinal use" do cigarettes offer?
I was addicted to pain killers from medical problems for some time.I have always smoked marijuana and never really been addicted to it, and it helps with pain and lose of appitite.
The only reason it has not been legalized is because of the drug companies have spent millions and millions of dollars protecting their market share. Drug companies cannot figure out a way to make money of this drug so they will say and do anything to stop it from becoming legal. Medical Marijuana helps millions of people that are going through chemo therapy and are unable to eat afterwards. This is just one of the many benefits of this drug, further more it does not have to be smoked. Local State and federal governments can benefit by making this drug legal. Money spent on law enforcement can be used to fight violent crimes making our cities safer.
like, if yall DO NOT know anyone that died from marijuana use, and know ppl that died from tobacco. Lmao!. Tobacco Kills, Marijuana Lives.
Genesis 1:27-29 ..27 So God created MANKIND in his own image of GOD he created them; male and female he created them.28. GOD Blessed them and said to them," be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground." 29. Then GOD said " i give you every seed-bearing PLANT on face of the whole Earth and every tree that has fruit with seeds in it they will be yours for food." do yall ever remember that there was Heaven on Earth?...and it was written of in THE BOOK OF LIFE :D so smoke that Hakuna Matata.
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