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Sunday, November 18, 2012

New Marijuana Laws

A map of the United States that shows states green that have legalized medical marijuana use.  States in orange are those with legalized recreational marijuana use laws.

Recent voter initiatives in Washington and Colorado to legalize marijuana for recreational use should prove to be a very interesting experiment for the rest of the country. It will also be interesting to see if the federal government backs off and lets this play out on its own in these places as well as the other states that already have medical marijuana laws on the books.

The next step is having the rest of the nation follow behind this groundbreaking decision.  After that we can work on expunging the records of people who were arrested for simple marijuana possession in the past.  One of the lobbyists who worked on the bill legalizing marijuana in Colorado mentioned that 4,000 people were arrested last year in Colorado for marijuana use.  4,000 fewer arrests this year will save the state an absolute fortune on police and court costs for this fairly innocuous drug. Sorry prison industrial complex, you will have a lot fewer inmates if we start making sane laws about drug use.

Ever since I first tried marijuana when I was in high school I could never understand why it was illegal. It made more sense to my teenage brain to allow its use and then tax the sale of the drug and regulate it like we do with alcohol. But I never really thought that marijuana would be legal in America in my lifetime. I suppose that we aren’t as stupid as I thought.

The official word from Seattle on the new marijuana laws.

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