SACRAMENTO, CA - The successful push at the polls to legalize marijuana in Colorado and Washington could now be a game changer for cannabis in California.
Colorado and Washington state have made history. Voters gave the green light and made marijuana legal for adults. The initiatives in the Evergreen State and the Centennial State regulate the production, possession and distribution of pot. Adults 21 and older will be able to use and possess up to one ounce of pot. Stores will be able to sell and grow weed.
This sets up a showdown with the federal government because it is still against federal law to smoke or possess pot. The Department of Justice said it hasn't changed its position on marijuana only stating that:
"We are reviewing the ballot initiatives and have no additional comment at this time."
California was among the first states in the country to legalize marijuana for medical use. Two years ago, there was also a big push to legalize recreational marijuana in the Golden State, but Prop. 19 failed.
Ron Mullins, with Safe Access Sacramento, hopes the successful push to legalize marijuana in two other states will change lots of minds everywhere, not just in California.
"Hopefully, it'll set a model and send an example to the government that it's not harmful that when states do that, it's not harming anyone," Mullins said. "I think it's a beginning of a paradigm shift toward people's attitudes toward cannabis."
Oregon had a marijuana plan on its ballot and but voters voted it down Tuesday.
Meanwhile, other marijuana industry advocates said that before recreational marijuana is legalized in California, the state will have to see serious cannabis reform and regulation.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org