For the past few years, marijuana law reform has been a major topic throughout the United States. No matter where you live, this is something you have likely heard about.
For those who are not up to date, there are three states making big waves at the present time: Washington, Oregon, and Colorado.
On November 6, 2012, the law in these three states could change forever. It is at this time that voting will take place related to some form of marijuana legalization.
Additionally, Arkansas and Massachusetts will be voting on the use of medical marijuana within their borders.
What are the Polls Saying?
Let’s face it: when it comes to a topic like this, nobody wants to wait around for the results. Instead, everybody wants to speculate on what is going to happen when voting begins.
While nobody knows what is going to happen next month, numbers are currently polling favorably in regards to the legalization of marijuana. Over the past 5 to 10 years, support for legalization has continued to grow – this is particularly true in the three states that have recently moved to the forefront.
Could it Really Happen?
No matter what the polls say at the present time, there are obvious concerns for those in favor.
The last time any state voted on marijuana legalization was in 2010. At this time, California’s Prop. 19 was voted down despite the fact that things appeared to be moving towards legalization in the Golden State.
What does it mean for Residents?
Colorado Amendment 64, for example, is aimed at adopting a progressive marijuana drug policy. With this in mind, residents of the state (age 21 and older) would be permitted to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Additionally, people would be able to legally grow up to six marijuana plants per single family dwelling.
While public consumption would not be allowed, marijuana sales would be permitted at specific retail outlets.
How will the Feds React?
Despite the fact that three states will be voting on the legalization of marijuana, it is unknown how the federal government will react if one or more measure is passed. Their options include:
- Attempt to block implementation of the law
- Respect the decision of voters in the states
- Arrest those who are involved in the retail and wholesale side of the business
While there is no way of knowing what the future holds, don’t think that the feds are sitting back right now and ignoring these developments. Did you know that the Department of Justice in Colorado has shut down more than 20 medical marijuana dispensaries?
Remember this: even if marijuana legalization passes on the state level, it will continue to be a crime to possess the drug under federal law.
Jeff Dorschner, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, sums it up by saying: “We don’t know what will happen if it passes. There are a variety of options, none of which I can discuss.”
November 6th is right around the corner. While everybody will have their eyes on the presidential election, don’t overlook the importance of what is going on in Washington, Oregon and Colorado (as well as Arkansas and Massachusetts).