Voters in Colorado and Washington passed legislation Tuesday that effectively legalizes recreational marijuana use in those two states.
Amendment 64 in Colorado allows residents over the age of 21 to legally buy and commercially sell small amounts of pot. In Washington, voters approved Initiative 502, which legalizes one ounce of marijuana for those over 21 beginning Dec. 6.
An initiative that would have made recreational pot legal in Oregon did not pass.
Amendment 64 in Colorado will amend the state constitution to legalize and regulate the production, possession, and distribution of marijuana for persons age 21 and older.
“The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said in a written statement released by his office. “This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly.”
...The Washington referendum called for a 25% tax rate imposed on the product three times: when the grower sells it to the processor, when the processor sells it to the retailer, and when the retailer sells it to the customer. It’s not clear exactly how much tax revenue legalization would bring in. Estimates for the Washington measure run as high as $500 million - a figure analysts say is overstated.