Cannabis Now Legal In Oregon & DC
The ballots are in, and marijuana has taken another huge step forward in the US. Welcome to the fold Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C.!
You may have seen our earlier blog article outlining how US midterm votes were coming up, and how it was set to deal another mighty blow to the War on Drugs. Well, the votes have been cast, and quite triumphantly, marijuana has won the day.
Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C.
The main battles won were in the states of Oregon, Alaska, and the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. Each of these regions have voted in favour of fully legalising the recreational use of cannabis, following closely in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington State.
The results for both Alaska and Oregon will make it legal for adults over the age of 21 to grow and possess small amounts of recreational cannabis, as well as set up the legal framework for its regulated sale. In Washington D.C., where the vote in favour of legalisation secured a resounding 65%, cannabis will be legal to grow and possess, but not sell.
However, residents of these three victors should proceed with caution before running outside to have a celebratory joint. The use of cannabis in public will still remain illegal in all three locations, and the Washington D.C. vote still needs to pass through Congress before it can be enacted.
Eleanor Norton, the newly re-elected Congressional delegate for D.C. warned that she was prepared to fight tooth and nail should Congress move to block the legalisation of weed in D.C. "The people have spoken" she announced in a press release. "They haven't seen a fight like I'm preparing to make against Rep. Andy Harris and any other Member of Congress who attempts to undo our democratic process."
Hopefully, as midterm elections have just concluded, and Congress is going to have many more important issues to worry about, the vote will sail through unopposed. But the midterm election has seen Congress fall into the hands of a Republican majority, so we shall see.
Don’t Forget About Maine and Guam!
Although the news coming out of Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. is certainly the biggest of the midterm votes, they are not the only significant results to have been decided. South Portland, an Area of Maine, passed a proposal to legalise the possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana; and Guam has become the first US territory to vote in favour of the legalisation of medical cannabis for debilitating diseases – such as cancer, HIV and glaucoma.
… And Florida
In Florida, voters took to the ballots in an attempt to legalise medical marijuana for the state. Although they secured a 57% majority in favour, it did not reach the 60% required to see the vote pass. It is an extremely messed up situation, and a fine example of Republican “democracy” - where the majority can vote in favour, but still be denied.
Although an unfortunate turn out, there is always a silver lining - and if anything, it has sent a clear message, not just Florida’s legislators, but the entire south, that there is a majority support for the legalisation of medical marijuana across a broad political spectrum.
It just goes to show the momentum the marijuana legalisation movement has gained. It won’t be long before other states start following suit, and the federal government is forced to change its law. We hope the politicians here in Europe are paying close attention, this is how it’s done!