Alaska, Oregon and D.C. Voters Approve Legalization of Marijuana

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Summary: On Tuesday, voters in three states and the District of Columbia had the opportunity to approve legislation that would legalize marijuana. Voters succeeded in two states and D.C.

Cravath, Swaine

Voters in Oregon, Alaska, Florida and the District of Columbia were provided the chance to vote on the legalization of marijuana on Tuesday. The mid-term elections resulted in the passage of that legislation in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, but not Florida, according to Newsweek.

In D.C., people over the age of 21 are now allowed to possess no more than two ounces of marijuana for personal use. They can also grow six plants at their residence, with no more than three being mature plants.

The legislation that was passed in D.C., "Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014," does not allow for the sale of the drug. Marijuana can be given by one person to another, but no money can exchange hands.

"[T]he initiative as it is written doesn't give us the certainty we need," at-large councilman David Grosso said in an interview with The Washington Post.

The legislation can still be overridden by the city council since D.C. is not a state. It can also elect to delay the implementation of the legislation. Due to a possible delay, it could be years until residents of the District of Columbia will legally be allowed to take part in the drug recreationally.

In Oregon, voters approved Measure 91, also called the "Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative." Residents who are 21 or older can possess eight ounces of dried marijuana. The legislation also permits the manufacturing, processing, taxation and sale of the drug within the state. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will be responsible for regulating marijuana sales in the state.

In Alaska, Ballot Measure 2 passed. It permits people who are 21 or older to possess no more than one ounce of marijuana and six plants. Also legalized in the state is the manufacture, sale and taxation of the drug.

In the state of Florida, where there was a measure on the ballot for medical marijuana, voters could not reach the required 60 percent of the vote. They missed by just three percent.

The first two states to legalize marijuana were Colorado and Washington. At least five more states could put legislation to legalize marijuana on the ballot in 2016.

Image credit: Reuters

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