One week ago today three more states voted to completely legalize recreational marijuana. In a midterm election with historically low turnouts that leaned heavily Republican, voters still came out in force to continue the process of ending cannabis prohibition.
Today we’re giving out a Conscious Connoisseur Award to the voters around the country, particularly in Oregon, Alaska, Washington DC, and Florida, who made their voices heard in the fight to end cannabis prohibition.
In Oregon it was Measure 91, which beginning in July of 2015 makes it legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to 8 ounces of cannabis in flower form, 16 ounces of solid cannabis, 72 ounces of liquid, and one ounce of extracts. Thanksgiving 2015 in Oregon is going to be legally amazing. Shops should be opening in the first half of 2016.
Alaska’s Measure 2 passed with 52 percent of the vote and allows for citizens to have and to show up to an ounce of cannabis, along with six plants inside their primary residence. Shops will be opening in 2016 as well, though Alaska has a bit more work to do than Oregon, a state already regulating its medicinal marijuana industry.
Washington DC voters approved Initiative 71 by 69 percent, hopefully signaling an end to years of racially biased arrests in the nation’s capital. Though 71 faces the most uncertain future of any of the laws passed on November 4th, it also had the most support, and at the very least should lead to a drop in arrests.
And let’s not forget about Florida, which came just shy of the 60 percent needed to pass a medicinal marijuana bill but clearly exhibited that the majority of voters support legal medical cannabis.
While each state’s law is different, one of the common points was the right of citizens to grow their own marijuana, something that was kept out of I-502 in Washington State. Allowing people to cultivate their own cannabis will ensure the market stays honest and give recreational consumers and medical patients access to affordable product. You don’t have to settle for the sub-par, overpriced bud from whatever retailer happens to be closest to you if you or your good friend can produce quality plants in the privacy of your own home. Shops and suppliers will need to give people a reason to come out, and WRK hopes we see increases in quality as well as transparency.
Ultimately what we want is a country where this is accepted in the way that having a glass of wine or cigar is accepted. With every state that legalizes cannabis we get closer to that reality, we get closer to the time when we don’t have any reason to hide what we do, who we are, and the things we love. Every state that has legal recreational cannabis has it because of citizen-led initiatives; this is truly the will of the people who are tired of waiting for politicians to bring about meaningful change.
Weekend Review Kit thanks you, the voters in Alaska, Oregon, Washington DC, and Florida. In coming out to smoke the vote you progressed the cause for all of us.