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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Colorado and Washington Approve Legalization

With the elections behind us we can all start moving forward, business as usual here in the United States. Many celebrated joyous victories while others experienced a number of disappointments. The time has come for us to all start working together to make the best of the outcomes. We have been discussing, for some time now, the potential of legalization of marijuana in three different states: Colorado, Washington, and Oregon.

In Colorado and Washington the people spoke, and they made the choice to legalize marijuana for the first time in almost a century. The state of Oregon went the other direction; the use of marijuana is still only legal for medical consumption with the proper recommendation from a physician. Colorado and Washington officials both eagerly await guidance from the federal government in the wake of those states’ approval of recreational marijuana laws, The Washington Post reports.

The approved measures allow personal possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for anyone at least 21 years old. Marijuana will be sold and taxed at state-licensed stores the same way that liquor and cigarettes have been taxed all these years.

The new laws are being reviewed by Justice Department, according to the newspaper. However, there have not been any comments from them yet, but, we can expect something soon. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stance remains the same, stating that its enforcement of federal law, that outlaws the production, possession and sale of the drug, remains unchanged.

A spokesman for Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado stated that the Governor called the Justice Department on Wednesday for guidance on how the state should proceed. He is expected to speak with Attorney General Eric Holder later this week.

In a statement, Governor Hickenlooper said, “The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will. 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.”

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