Colorado and Washington State became the first two states in the Union to legalize the possession of marijuana for recreational use.
In Washington State, voters approved a ballot initiative I-502 by 55% to 45%. In Colorado, a similar law known as Amendment 64 passed by 53% to 47%.
These laws make marijuana legal not just for those with medical conditions, but for any adult over the age of 21.
Of course, marijuana remains illegal under federal law, so the effect of these ballot initiatives is currently unknown.
The votes show that unlike many politicians, voters are not afraid to apply common sense. They don’t want their kids locked up and saddled with criminal records because of recreational marijuana use – something that a reported 50% of young people try.
Perhaps these votes will help influence marijuana policy in DC, Maryland and Virginia, where possession of even tiny amounts is a serious criminal offense. Stay tuned.