Two US States to Legalise Cannabis

7 Nov

 

Colorado and Washington have become the first states in US history to vote to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes.

In Colorado the vote was 55 to 45 in support of Constitutional Amendment 64. In Washington the vote was 55 to 45 in support of Initiative 502.

Under the new measures it will be legal for those over 21 to possess up to an ounce (28.5g) of cannabis. They will also allow cannabis to be sold and taxed at state-licensed outlets.

The ballot initiatives had support from such groups as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP); and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an organization largely comprised of former and current police officers.

With cannabis still illegal under federal law the initiatives may lead to a Supreme Court battle as the federal government can overrule states’ rights.

Voter approval for the initiatives demonstrates the significant shift in global attitudes towards cannabis. In June of this year the government of Uruguay legalised cannabis in an attempt to curb violence related to the drug trade.

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