Ballot measures: Oregon voters legalize marijuana
05 November 2014, 14:17
New York - Voters in Oregon and the District of Columbia approved ballot measures allowing the use of marijuana by adults, elating legalization activists who hope to extend their winning streak across the country.
Oregon will join the company of Colorado and Washington state, where voters approved the recreational use of pot two years ago. The District of Columbia is on the same path unless Congress, which has review power, blocks the move.
Still to come were results from Alaska, which also had a marijuana-legalization measure on its ballot Tuesday.
The District of Columbia's marijuana measure does not provide for the legal sale of marijuana, leaving that matter up to the D.C. Council. That's different from the measures in Oregon and Alaska, which would follow the example of Colorado and Washington state in setting up systems for regulating and taxing retail sales of marijuana.
The Drug Policy alliance, one of the leaders of the legalization campaign, said Tuesday's results would help its efforts to push through a ballot measure in California in 2016.
Also read: Legal marijuana goes on sale in Washington
"The pace of reform is accelerating, other states are sure to follow, and even Congress is poised to wake from its slumber," said Ethan Nadelmann, the alliance's executive director.
The campaign in D.C. included a debate about race — the measure's supporters said blacks in the city had been disproportionately targeted for marijuana arrests.
In Florida, a measure that would have allowed marijuana use for medical reasons fell short of the 60 percent approval to pass; near-complete returns showed it getting about 57 percent of the vote.
Twenty-three states allow medical marijuana.