Colorado and Washington State approved the recreational use of marijuana in Tuesday’s election. The two states became the first two to legalize the drug. The results in the two states now sets the stage for a legal battle between the state governments and the federal government, as recreational marijuana use is prohibited by the federal government.
Those two measures in Colorado and Washington were part of many decisions on varying initiatives that will help shape state policies on things ranging from recreational drug use to same-sex marriage.
John Hickenlooper, the Colorado governor, said the people of his state had approved the measure and it must be respected by everyone in the state, although he was an opponent of the initiative. However, he did say that the issue would be very complicated due to the federal government prohibiting the use of marijuana recreationally.
The Colorado measure gives anyone who is 21 years or older authorization to possess up to as much as 1 ounce of marijuana or have six plants for personal use. Those against the measure said it would turn the state into a tourist capital for drugs. The measure in the state of Washington will regulate and legalize the possession, production and distribution of marijuana for all residents who are 21 years old or older.
Voters in Oregon defeated a measure that intended to legalize the commercial growth of marijuana and its sales to any adult.
Initiatives for same sex marriage were also approved in Maryland and Maine by voters. A similar measure was voted on by residents of the state of Washington, but the results were still not available since voters mailed in their votes.