Mid-Term Elections See Passage of Recreational Marijuana

Oregon, Alaska, DC Legalize Recreational Marijuana, Florida Rejects Amendment 2

recreational marijuanaAlthough Florida did not pass its medical marijuana amendment – Amendment 2 – four other areas legalized recreational use of marijuana.

Oregon, Alaska, and Washington DC all legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and one local initiative in South Portland, Maine, also legalized marijuana use.

Both Oregon and Alaska’s recreational marijuana bills resemble those passed a few years ago in Colorado and Washington state. Essentially, the state will set up specific marijuana growers, and specific shops that can sell marijuana for recreational use. The state can collect tax revenue on these businesses.

However, Washington DC’s recreational marijuana law is different. The district – which is not in the jurisdiction of any state government, only local and federal governments – passed legislation allowing residents to instead grow their own marijuana plants at home, process and use those plants, and give marijuana to friends or family – but not sell marijuana.

“D.C. is the one I’m most excited about,” Mark Kleiman, one of the leading drug policy experts in America. “It wouldn’t generate any tax revenue, or offer consumers the same convenience or product variety as a commercial system, and of course policing the boundary between “giving” and “selling” would be virtually impossible … eliminating organized marketing would likely lead to a much smaller increase—if any—in cannabis abuse than we would expect if we sell pot the way we now sell beer.

“Alcohol now accounts for more substance use disorder, more violence (especially sexual assault and domestic violence), more health damage, more injury, more death, and even more arrests than all illicit drugs combined,” Kleiman added.

However, marijuana studies show that, although the drug is no more harmful than alcohol or cigarettes, it is still a dangerous and intoxicating substance. One recent study found that one in six teenagers who use marijuana recreationally become addicted, which doubles their risk of developing psychotic disorders.

Despite the flood of approval for recreational marijuana, Florida’s Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana in the state, failed. The measure would allow doctors to prescribe certain types of marijuana to patients with “debilitating medical conditions,” such as multiple sclerosis, ALS, Crohn’s Disease, Parkinson’s, glaucoma, hepatitis C, cancer, and HIV.

“While it’s disappointing that patients in Florida won’t be able to find legal relief with marijuana just yet, tonight’s result does show that a clear majority of voters in the sunshine state support a new direction,” Tom Angell, Marijuana Majority chairman, said in a statement.

South Carolina has begun to discuss the possibility of broadening its extremely limited medical marijuana legislation, so that chronic pain or epilepsy sufferers would have better access. However, the state did not offer a medical or recreational marijuana bill this election season.

If You Face Marijuana Charges, Including for Medical Marijuana Use Charges, The Strom Law Firm Can Help

Although many states have passed medical marijuana legislation, South Carolina still has not legalized the use of marijuana for recreational or medical reasons. You could be charged with drug possessionIf you or a loved one have been found with medical marijuana, you could face criminal charges ranging from misdemeanor to felony, depending on how much marijuana was on your person, and what your intent was with the drug. The drug crimes attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. Do not let drug charges for medical marijuana hurt your reputation or your future aspirations. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800

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