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Colorado, Washington Legalize Marijuana

November 07, 2012  | 

CC_Flickr: Jaypeg21
CC_Flickr: Jaypeg21

Voters in Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana, setting up a showdown with the Department of Justice. Also, Massachusetts became the 18th state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.

The executive director of Law Enforcement against Prohibition (LEAP), retired and current officers who support legalization, said the measures will bring about a "smarter and more humane justice system."

"The pace of reform is increasing," Neill Franklin said in a statement. "It took us a long time to get here, but we have finally begun to win the war on drugs by realizing it is time for that war to end."

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers called state legalization "bad public policy" but said he would respect the will of the voters. The U.S. Supreme Court has given the federal government the power to criminally sanction possession, use and distribution of marijuana, Suthers told the Denver Post.

Amendment 64, which allows people 21 years old to purchase one ounce, led Wednesday with 54.8% voting yes and 45.1 percent voting no, with 41 of 64 counties reporting.

In Washington, voters approved Initiative 502, which allows the state to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana sales. The initiative was led by former federal prosecutors, the Seattle City Attorney, and an ex-top FBI agent, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The initiative contains a one-year rule-making procedure initiative sponsors hope will stave off a legal fight with federal authorities. It will allow "adult conversation at all levels," Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said. Initiative 502 passed with 55.4% voting yes and 44.5% voting no, with all counties reporting.

In Colorado, citizens can grow up to six marijuana plants. The Washington measure bans cultivation by citizens.

A similar measure in Oregon failed to pass. Measure 80 gained a 45.1% yes vote and 54.8% no vote, according to Oregon's secretary of state.

Detroit voters passed Proposition M, which partially decrimilizes marijuana. The ballot measure amends a 1984 Detroit city ordinance to exempt adults over the age of 21 from being prosecuted for the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana on private property, reports the Huffington Post.

Related:

Ballot Measures 2012: Death Penalty, Legal Marijuana, Bargaining Rights

Tags: Legalizing Drugs, Medical Marijuana, Elections, Detroit PD, Drug Decriminalization


Comments (32)

Displaying 1 - 32 of 32

Motorjock @ 11/7/2012 2:23 PM

Now with Washington and Colorado allowing this activity, maybe we can get all the Adam Henry's to move there.

Ima Leprechaun @ 11/7/2012 2:56 PM

I am so glad to see this, hopefully the rest of the country will follow suit. I myself have no desire to use marihuana but I have never seen this drug cause anyone to do anything worse than eat raw cookie dough. Marihuana is no more dangerous than drinking alcohol and it has more health benefits and less side effects than opiates for controlling pain. I would love to see THC provided in pill form just to see how well the THC does do on pain and other illnesses without having to smoke it. Not smoking it would take the "fun" out of it but perhaps make it more easily marketable as a helpful drug. We will see what we will see.

Bill @ 11/7/2012 3:16 PM

How can you legalize something that is banned by Federal law? What would happen to states if they skirted the Federal Firearms Act of 1934, and started selling full auto sears for AR-15's at gun shops? It's no different. Sooner or later this is going to explode in an act of who controls what. This nation is dumbing down at an alarming rate. Last nights election proved that if nothing else. We don't need drugs to make the electorate even dumber. They're doing quite alright on their own!

Rick @ 11/7/2012 3:17 PM

Innocent people are going to be killed by people high on weed in the states that just legalized personal use. Marijuana involved accidents here in CA have been increasing since the medical weed act passed.

IMA - THC meds are available as a pill; the argument is that it makes patients sick, so they must smoke it. That's bull as THC is available in a nebulizer form that is inhaled in specific doses, while smoking dope does not provide a specific dose as the strength of each plant is different. Medical weed does not need to be around; between pills and nebulizers, smoking dope is not needed. In a Police article, they showed how the Russian and Armenian mobs are fighting for control of the CA weed dispensaries; so much for keep criminals out of the loop if weed gets legalized. You also said IMA that it's no more dangerous than alcohol; look at the stats from the CDC; kids are more likely to die in car accidents than get shot. I got hit by a DUI driver in August; I'm blessed to have not been injured badly in the wreck, so don't think that alcohol and weed is harmless or less dangerous. Both are dangerous period.

The guy that wrote the medical mj law for CA admitted that he's a homosexual and drug activist and it was only the start to legalize all drugs.

Fed Cop @ 11/7/2012 3:18 PM

Ima Leprechaun, you've never seen anything worse than a raw cookie dough? Quite obvious you're not a LEO. I've seen them stoned out of their mind, T-boned into another car, mixing it with ETOH, unable to stand up or put two coherent words together, etc. It's no worse than alcohol? Alcohol and marijuana are the contributing factors to 99% domestic violence crimes.

hypocrites @ 11/7/2012 5:32 PM

All of you people against marijuana: why aren't you fighting for the prohibition of alcohol again? You say yourselves the effects are no different, yet fail to advocate for prohibition of alcohol. Why? Cuz you LIKE throwing down a rum and coke with your buddies on your off days. You're hypocrites. Either fight to eliminate both or shut up. We don't want your false advocacy.

Tom @ 11/7/2012 6:48 PM

There is a pill form of THC called maridol, Ben out for awhile has the same neuro blocking agents as smoking it, the only difference is you don't get high. These people who think this is a good idea better wake up. We have medical marijuana in California and that has spiraled out of control, homicides at marijuana grows thru the roof, home invasions around medical grows thru the roof, the doctors recommending this are as crooked as the so called patients selling it. The federal government says its illegal for a reason people.

Bernie @ 11/7/2012 8:53 PM

Hyprocrites: There is a difference between alcohol and marijuana - alcohol can, and is often, taken in moderation. I am not a hypocrite about alcohol by thinking dope should be illegal and not alcohol. I have not had any alcohol since 1974. I was not a heavy drinker or alcoholic, but I saw the devastation it caused and decided I just wasn't going to have anything to do with it. More than one person I arrested who was drunk tried to pull the "ya, but you tip a few too" line on me. It didn't work. I personally know one young lady who just graduated from high school in the spring of 2012. She smokes 5 joints a day. She is addicted. She turned to prostitution to pay for her habit and got busted. Tell me that marijuana isn't a problem in her young life that is forever changed - for the worse.

Morning Eagle @ 11/7/2012 10:19 PM

Never seen anything more harmful than eating a cookie resulting from the use of MJ? Try dragging teenage bodies from what was left of a car and putting three of them in body bags and a fourth on a stretcher where the car ended up in a field about 30 yards off the highway. The lone survivor told me they had all been smoking “weed” all day and the driver kept going faster because he thought they were going really slow. He was doing approximately 95 MPH when he rammed into the back of an empty horse trailer that was going 60 MPH. Then come and tell me there is nothing harmful about marijuana. The people who voted for these measures are going to get slammed with a lot more crime, and violent crime at that, as the battles to control supply and distribution escalate. Anyone that believes the vicious criminals that are now in control are just suddenly going to roll over and become good guys and limit their production or sales then start paying taxes does not understand the criminal mind set.

Nichole @ 11/8/2012 4:16 AM

I am on the bandwagon that alcohol and marijuana are no different. They both can be done in moderation, they both can be overdone, and they both can cause serious injuries when behind the wheel of a car.

Personally, I've never known a pothead to smack his girlfriend around, or beat one of his children. I've known alcoholics to do that. Every pothead I've ever known (and there have been quite a few) was a laid back individual who was hard working when not high, provided for their family or held a good job, and was your average joe.

I don't advocate leagalizing other, more dangerous drugs, like heroine, cocaine, meth, etc. Those things screw you up for good, people shoot other people over stuff like that.

And I also agree with those saying that if you're on the bandwagon for not legalizing it, you should also be on the same bandwagon as criminalizing alcohol again. Bringing about prohibition again. There is no difference.

Glenn @ 11/8/2012 4:43 AM

So many clueless people in this world. Ok, so the weed may not be so bad for the adults (I'm not convinced but ok). Victimless hobby? One thing the weed advocates are not taking into account is the children in the homes of the pot smoking and growin "patients". Child neglect will and has risen in states that have med marijauna. Why by milk when you only have enough money for a quarter bag. These people would rather get high. Put the baby in the back room and hit the bong. The smoke saturates the whole house and not is in the babies system. An adult body can handle this maybe. The babies can't causing asthma and other illnesses. Baby crawl on the floor where marijauan residue has fallen and gets in the babies system. People who are for marijauan are do not think it is bad and will not take measures to protect their young still developing children from it. Just watch, the children will and do suffer in these states that have medical Marijuana. To the people that compare it to alcohol. If you knock back a Jack and coke (right or wrong) the child in the back of the house does not get drunk. The child that you sent to a friends house doesn't come home and contact the active ingredient just by touching surfaces in your home. Thank you, end of rant

Bernie @ 11/8/2012 5:59 AM

Those who are advocating linking making alcohol illegal. So lets say you're right. Alcohol and marijuana are both bad in certain situations. When over used, used while driving, etc. Now, how does legalizing one bad thing help? Lets say we should make alcohol illegal. How does legalizing marijuana bring us closer to the goal of less dead people from auto accidents, less abuse, less all the bad things that alcohol and marijuana bring about?

Phil @ 11/8/2012 6:16 AM

Its about individual responsibility, freedom and Liberty. I've been fighting the war on drugs for over 30 years, and we have not made a dent in it. It is so similar to prohibition in almost every aspect. Just think, instead of spending all that money fighting mj we could target cocaine and meth, AND get substantial tax revenues from the legal sale of mj while not have prison overcrowding/homes wrecked from mj "offenders". While we are at it, do not confuse mj or alcohol use with DUI. No one advocates for any impared driving.

wontbackdn @ 11/8/2012 7:26 AM

N__hole: you don't have a single brain cell left in your pot addled head. "Laid back, hardworking..." ??? You got to be joking, right? And you're not a cop, so get off our site.

Tom Ret @ 11/8/2012 7:34 AM

This legalization does not surprise me as it is part of today's " new normal".
Glad I'm retired.

rjensen @ 11/8/2012 10:03 AM

I have been in law enforcement for 25+ years. I have seen a few things, been a few places, met a few people.
At one point as a SRO, I asked a counselor in the Juvenile Detention Center for the county, "How many youth in your Center are addicted to drugs...and how many specifically to marijuana?" The counselor told me that 65 percent are in there because of drug-related activity. 90 percent of those are addicted to marijuana. They get it from friends and family. The younger they start...the easier it is to be addicted. If we tolerate it now, why should anyone stop using later? My personal studies have shown me that the tar content is higher than cigarettes. There are also numerous carcinogens in marijuana. Don't tell me that it is not a harmful drug.

C.T. Carlson @ 11/8/2012 12:30 PM

Nothing more harmful than eating... Try responding to teenager that had walked off a 50' cliff because he was high on pot. Oh yeah, his 6 friends that were there with him let him do it. They were high also. They didn't even bother to call for help. I guess that was the mellow part?

John Russell @ 11/8/2012 4:56 PM

THis is fine great and good experiment see how much REVENUE it creates and in fact will even strengthen POLICE NEEDS for it willbe like many other very valuable commodities ,,I don't want it for free,,,however COCAINE should be legalized too and unfortuantely the CUSTOMS DEPT---destroyed so much pure high grade tons of it... so you destroyed MONEY GOLD stupid people .....should have warehoused it all in cool ,dry environement and get that legalized too!

John Russell @ 11/8/2012 5:00 PM

HEY for all you JARHEADS I do not know what they laced some pot with in my day but I did not drive like some mad man as a kid and had V-8 with 350 horsepower and tonsof power and spped capability . I knew how to handle myself then and just enjoyed the Heavy Metal and not going nuts..Its the personality not the drug ok

Frank delano @ 11/8/2012 5:01 PM

The new norm. Now, what is wrong is now right. We are allowing our world to destroy itself. I have been in law enforcement 30 years and have seen so many deaths related to pot. Let's get all decent law abiding people settled and safe and then legalized everything, murder, rape, drugs, child abuse, spouse abuse because eventually all these things will be commonplace when drugs are legalized. What is wrong with this great united states. How stupid do we have to let people get? Let's take our country back.

John Russell @ 11/8/2012 5:10 PM

Nobody is going to get high and killed in fact people stoned are most passive and tranquil...but you can have it ...I had my kid days of Heavy Metal and weed...now cocaine that wouldbe great to LEGALIZE so people can go and get things done and work hard. Again more BIG WORK FOR police to guard big product and control the dispensing of lotted amounts.

Ima Leprechaun @ 11/8/2012 9:01 PM

So what I gather from some of the comments is that alcohol should be illegal since there was once a federal law banning it. Because every federal law enacted cannot be removed meaning a good number of you are still in favor of slavery and keeping women from voting. As for pot causing someone to go on a murder spree I would love to see the proof behind that statement. All these guys on here yell about states rights until they don't agree with it on personal grounds but you can't have it both ways. Now include other extremely harmful drugs like LSD, PCP, Heroin, Jimson Weed and you get a dangerous combination but pot alone just makes you fat. I see no reason to keep this drug illegal when it has so many healthy uses with fewer side effcts than opiates. Personal consumption of one ounce or less seems reasonable but like any legal drug you can still get a DUI while high or drunk. The only thing these laws do are allow personal consumption while at home they still have to obey all other Laws. I am just as worried about someone drinking Niquil and driving as I am smoking pot and driving but any drug legal or illegal can get you a DUI because you are impaired which is what that law used to say back in the day. Being impaired was all you had to prove, but the world insisted on presumtive levels which is extrememly stupid since someone can be .03 BAC and still be drunk out of their mind. Geez people get a grip.

Ima Leprechaun @ 11/8/2012 9:20 PM

I have to say one thing the propaganda machine indoctrinated a whole bunch of these commentors. Very few here know any facts they just spout off from what the propaganda machine has told them. God gave you a brain use it and research this issue. Don't bother with the political dogma but read the factual information and then decide but most of you won't do that because you are lazy and would rather believe in everything said by "big brother". Tax it and sell it and that alone will destroy it faster than the ineffective enforcement we now use. There are more people in prison for just pot than all the violent crimes combined. What a waste of space and resources. More money could be spent on real crime and protecting our borders. The stuff like domestic violence are not caused by pot or alcohol, it is caused by allowing it to pass from one generation to another by behavior. All you want is an easy "blame" for all your problems and well guess what folks its never going to be that easy. Domestic crimes pass from one generation to another by children viewing this as normal behavior, end that cycle and you will end the violence because domestic violence is a "learned" behavior. I realize this will fall on deaf ears but try researching your cause at least you will be better prepared to defend it. I dont really care if you think I was a LEO or not because your opinion of me doesn't matter in the least to me. I am what I am...a leprechaun.

Nelson @ 11/9/2012 3:56 AM

Alcohol is the gateway drug that leads to pot and other illegal substances. Maybe just switch alcohol and marijuana laws? Drinkers should be locked up most of the time. Maybe we should just let the pot smokers go to prison where they belong and smoke it there?

Jim A @ 11/9/2012 8:36 AM

I live in Washington. As a LE officer, I strongly agree with medical marijuana, but find the medical MJ cards are too easily obtained. I am sure I could get one if I wanted. The state vote to legalize marijuana passed 55% to 45% against. I can truly understand why the 10% of the pot-smoking public would vote for legalizing marijuana. I just can't understand why the OTHER 45 % that voted for the measure wanted to be on the same highways and be in the same work places as the pot-smokers! One of my fellow officers was killed (on-duty!) by a pot-smoker that hit his car head-on at highway speeds. There are going to be more industrial accidents, higher social security disability claims, higher insurance rates, higher incidents of child endangerment - and this is going to cost society way more than is gained by a miniscule tax dollar it creates. It is apparent to me that 55% of Washington voters are idiots. People who work for companies that drug-test are going to lose their jobs. Even Oregon, who is known to be more liberal than Washington rejected legalizing marijuana.

What is this world coming to?! We are all swirling toward the bottom and we are being led by liberals (and I do not mean this to be a political statement aimed at democrats) who think that everything is ok. Well, everything is not ok. Responsibility and common sense are very much lacking in today's society.

Tom Ret @ 11/9/2012 10:03 AM

Recent news article indicates Washington will become popular with marijuana tourism. If people think this will not impact the state negatively they are obviously operating in condition brown (head up ass).

PD @ 11/10/2012 12:09 PM

I'm against marijuana use but the bigger issue is this - why does the Federal Government have any right to regulate it if the will of the people within the state wants to legalize it? The Feds should just stay out and let the states run their state. It has nothing to do with FOREIGN POLICY, COIN, or protecting the US as a whole. If the state wants to legalize it - let them. I just wont move there nor will I send my kids there for college or tour their. But that is MY choice and legalizing drugs is THEIR choice. It's called liberty.

LegAdv @ 11/10/2012 1:38 PM

PD, to answer your question, Congress derives its powers to regulate controlled substances from the Commerce Clause (Art. 1, §8, Cl. 3), the Necessary and Proper Clause (Art. 1, §18) and the Supremacy Clause (Art. VI, Cl. 2), of the U.S Constitution. And in Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1, 10-33 (2005), the U.S. Supreme Court held that Congress’ Commerce Clause authority includes the power to prohibit the local cultivation and use of marijuana in compliance with state law. That case is still binding precedent and accordingly, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments are not applicable, here. Therefore, the idea that the federal government will somehow abandon it's investigation, interdiction, enforcement and prosecution efforts under the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act (21 USC §801 et seq.), in the face of a conflicting state initiative is wishful thinking, at best. It's simply not going to happen.

Random @ 11/11/2012 2:08 PM

So what you are saying LegAdv, is that congress has the power to control anything that affects interstate commerce directly or by means of aggregation. All butterfly's beware congresses wrath. Your wings cause tornadoes and this is unacceptable. Lincoln really was the Ahab to white whale of federalism and the the Grand Experiment. (of course you will likely criticize my spelling and grammar rather than devise a counter-argument)

LegAdv @ 11/12/2012 1:20 PM

Random, I have no intention of criticizing your spelling and grammar; nor do I intend to criticize your position on this issue, whatever it may be. I'm simply pointing out that the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions over the past 70 years have significantly expanded the scope and reach of the Commerce Clause and based on this extensive history, I seriously doubt that the Court will revisit, much less reverse, the Raich decision anytime soon. The reality of this situation is that the powers to amend or repeal any provisions of the CSA continue to rest with Congress and not with the states. This may not set well with some, but it simply is what it is.

Marshal @ 11/12/2012 6:56 PM

What a bunch of crap. The potheads in Colorado think the money they gain will go to education. They must smoke a lot of pot to think that. Do they really think that the drug dealers, who currently are breaking the law, will actually start claiming what they sell and do they think that the people who are using the dealers now are going to go to a store to buy it at a higher price? Plus they are allowing people to grow their own. Are they really thinking that these people are going to claim anything to be taxed on? What a bunch of frickin idiots.

JimA @ 11/13/2012 9:53 PM

Liberalism is literally killing us. It is true that idiots live on both sides of the red / blue line, but not everything is ok. This is a stupid law change that will cost more idollars in the long run than it will ever bring in.

People dream for dollars - and don't make any sense!! Pun intended.

Have a good day, everyone.

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