Colorado and Washington became the first states to permit recreational marijuana usage –two important victories during an election that produced mixed results for the marijuana legalization movement.
Colorado’s Amendment 64, which legalizes personal possession of small amounts of Marijuana, was passed with 53 percent of the vote Tuesday. Washington voters approved a similar proposal, Measure No. 202, by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.
But legalization efforts stalled in Oregon, where Measure 80 was voted down.
A proposal to allow people to cultivate marijuana for medicinal purposes easily passed in Massachusetts. Elsewhere, medical marijuana fared poorly. Arkansas voters rejected the policy, and Montana voters approved regulations that will make it harder to obtain medical marijuana.
Even so, the results in Colorado and Washington left supporters of legalization feeling optimistic about their cause.
“Tonight, we ended marijuana prohibition,” the Marijuana Policy Project wrote on its website. “Tonight we made history.”
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper acknowledged the passage of Amendment 64, but suggested that marijuana might remain illegal due to federal laws.
“The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will,” he said in a statement. “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 Goldfish too quickly.”
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