Legalization of Marijuana in Washington and Colorado

Colorado and Washington have just passed bills legalizing Marijuana. Now the states lie in unknown territory. Many questions have yet to be answered concerning regulation and distribution. In a country where the “war on drugs” has been raging for the last 40 years this is a huge step in a new direction.

Early in President Obama’s first term he spoke of decriminalizing the drug. Now while the drug in legal to posses under state law it still remains illegal under federal law.

Alan Duke recently wrote an article about the limbo that smokers in Colorado and Washington are experiencing. While possession is now legal it still is illegal to purchase. That begs the question what the next step in creating infrastructure for sale are going to be established.

The website http://www.regulatemarijuana.org/ is a collaboration of supporters who are looking to sway the way pot is distributed in the near future. They also cover recent events in the state of Colorado concerning the law. Whether or not their wish to see the drug controlled much like alcohol comes to fruition remains yet to be seen.

M. Alex Johnson writes that Washington and Colorado may serve as laboratories as to how Marijuana is regulated in the future for other states.

There are already other states in the works of legalizing. Oregon already had a vote which narrowly lost in the last election.

This is an interesting time as America’s drug laws shift. policymic.com is another site that has extensive coverage of the ongoing effects from Marijuana legalization.

In the coming months and likely years this issue will evolve and that is why I chose this beat. Everyone is asking questions and waiting to see how both these states handle the uncertain nature of these new laws. Being that this issue is in the spotlight means that many large news sources are covering it. I want to use large new organizations as well as local papers.

By Nick Schwarz

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