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Oregon and Alaska Legalize Marijuana

November 6, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Oregon and Alaska Legalize Marijuana Image courtesy of medicalmarijuanablog.com

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Voters in the blue state of Oregon and red state of Alaska have joined the fledgling green column of the U.S. political map by choosing to legalize recreational marijuana, but supporters are not at liberty to light up or buy their cannabis just yet.

Ballot measures approved in both states on Tuesday will take months to go into effect, with pot enthusiasts in Oregon having to wait until next summer to legally indulge and neither state likely to make marijuana available for commercial sales before 2016.

“Anyone who is driving down the freeway and lights up a doobie and waives it at an officer is going to get a ticket,” Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis, spokesman for the defeated “vote no” campaign in Oregon, told Reuters.

The Oregon and Alaska measures will legalize recreational marijuana possession and usher in state-licensed retail pot shops similar to those that opened this year in Washington state and Colorado, which became the first to allow cannabis use for pleasure under 2012 voter initiatives.

District of Columbia voters on Tuesday approved legalization of marijuana possession but not its sale.

Supporters pointed to the outcome as a sign of growing acceptance of marijuana consumption as part of the American mainstream, with advocates of liberalized pot laws looking to California as their next battleground in 2016.

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