It’s an exciting time for cannabis users across the globe as voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington DC decide if recreational marijuana is coming to their state. Currently, Colorado and Washington are the only two states that allow for the consumption of recreational marijuana. This article breaks down the legislation in each of the three locations. We hope that voters get out there and make this a reality. As more and more states legalize recreational pot, it’ll only be a matter of time before the rest of the dominoes fall and legalized marijuana will be a reality nationwide.
OREGON – MEASURE 91
Voters at the ballot box will need to look out for Measure 91. Under Measure 91, adults over 21 will be able to possess up to a half pound (8 ounces) of cannabis in their home and one ounce in public. In addition, qualified residents may grow up to (4) plants. The initiative sets up a frame work for the retail distribution of marijuana between Oregon residents. The proposed law would set up the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to regular the production, delivery and sale of marijuana. The taxes collected would be used to fund schools, state police, mental health/alcohol/drug services and local law enforcement. Currently, legalization supporters show a slight edge at 46% vs non-supporters at 44%. Click here to read the full text of Measure 91.
ALASKA – BALLOT MEASURE 2
Alaskan residents will get the chance to vote on legal marijuana come Tuesday, November 4th. Under Measure 2, adults over 21 would be allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and up to six plants. The measure would leave the Alcoholic Beverage Control board to implement parts of the bill including the framework for the production, transfer and sale of cannabis between residents. The law would impose a $50 per ounce excise tax on the sale or transfer of marijuana from a cultivator to a retailer. Alaska has fairly lenient marijuana laws currently in place. In 1975, a bill passed making the public possession of up to one ounce a simple civil fine with no jail time. A few years after, all penalties for possessing up to four ounces and 24 plants in one’s home were removed. Since then, the state legislator has attempted to circumvent this ruling by attempting to pass various measures. Even though Alaska is one of the 50 US states with the most lenient weed laws, it’s time they go legit and join Colorado and Washington with legalized recreational marijuana. The full text version of Alaska’s Ballot Measure 2.
WASHINGTON, DC – INITIATIVE 71
While technically Washington, DC is not a state, the legalization of marijuana here seems to hold more weight. If weed becomes legal in our nation’s capital, we have to believe the rest of the nation will take notice and hopefully follow suit. DC’s Initiative 71 does not set up the regulatory framework for the retail distribution or transfer of marijuana. Instead, DC residents would be allowed to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use. To be exact, residents would be able to possess up to two ounces and grow up to three cannabis plants without any fear of penalty. DC just recently decriminalized the possession of up to once ounce of weed and they have a limited medical marijuana program in place. Recent polls show an overwhelming support for the Initiative but proponents of the bill fear Congress may get in the way of its full implementation. The full text version of the initiative can be found here.
We urge the residents of Oregon, Alaska and DC to go out and vote yes on their respective initiatives. A regulated framework of legal cannabis generates tax revenue, frees up valuable police resources and reduces the burden of incarcerating individuals for a generally harmless plant.