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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Marijuana Legalization Results 2014

On Tuesday, while the majority of Americans were concerned about red or blue, others were focused on green. In Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C. many voters turned up to the polls to vote on marijuana.

Both Oregon and Alaska are now the second pair of states to have legalized the recreational use of the drug, with D.C. now allowing possession but not retail sales, Reuters reports.

Voters in South Portland, Maine, passed a measure that allows possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana. In Florida, a constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana was defeated.

The Washington, D.C. measure allows adults 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to six plants. However, due that the fact that D.C. is our nation's capital, the measure could be sidetracked by the U.S. Congress, which has constitutional oversight, according to the report.

Preliminary results indicate 52 percent of Alaskan voters and 54 percent of Oregon voters supported the legalization of marijuana. Once the results are certified, state commissions have nine months to decide on regulations. This means the earliest the measures would take effect will be July, 2015. Retail stores carrying the drug would be likely to open in 2016. 

Not everyone in Oregon is happy about the results, opponents of the measure said they will advocate for stricter laws with the goal of limiting access to marijuana by children. 

The co-founder of the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), Kevin Sabet, has pledged to strengthen their coalition to counter pro-marijuana groups in 2016. “Tonight is going to inspire us to do better and to try harder and go after the donors we have to go after in order to level the playing field,” Sabet said. “The more people that hear about legalization, the more people are uncomfortable with it. For us it’s about getting our message out.”

Despite recreational marijuana use being legal in four states, marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

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