General Election Increases National Support For Legalization of Marijuana


Arianna Tong, Staff Writer

On Nov 7, 2012, Colorado and Washington passed propositions 502 and 64 relatively, becoming the first two states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The newly adopted propositions are the right path to easing the burden the law held over users, and the legalization of marijuana will bring social, economic, and financial change to America.

Here’s the bright side of the situation: weed is finally legal for people 21 and older. While the legalization of marijuana reflects the increasing national support for liberal pot laws, it also brings change by spurring state economies, and decreasing crime rates.

Law infractions for possessing marijuana cost states enormous amounts of unnecessary spending. In the year of 2010, crime policies surrounding marijuana law violations resulted in 850,000 arrests and lost $1trillion in tax dollars. In the state of Colorado, the new policy can generate as much as $60 million.

But before the jokes start about John Denver’s infamous song ,“Rocky Mountain High,” Colorado’s official state song, regulations proposed on the ballot- don’t exactly allow users to get Rocky Mountain High. Unfortunately, “Mary Jane” isn’t free from the law quite yet, as the current initiatives give the power to both state governments to take control of marijuana laws financially.

Both initiatives allow regulated sales of only one ounce of marijuana at state-licensed stores. In the state of Washington, a driver cannot obtain more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.

Though the current regulations limit a users intake, propositions to legalize marijuana spur economic burdens states currently face, decrease unnecessary spending, and jump start state job economies.

According to state legislatures, to purchase marijuana, an individual has to purchase substances at a state mandated dispensary, which means hiring employees to regulate sales.

Although the legalization of marijuana isn’t allowing users to light up wherever they want, and permitting users to smoke as much as they please; it is still one giant step towards creating laws that hand citizens more rights.