SALEM, Ore. (CBS Seattle) – Oregon voters have chosen to join Washington State and Colorado to legalize the possession of marijuana for recreational use by adults.
The state’s Measure 91 was approved by a 54-46 percent margin. It legalizes recreational marijuana for people ages 21 and older. Adults will be allowed to possess up to eight ounces of “dried” marijuana and up to four plants.
Oregon’s measure is based on the Washington State model: the Oregon Liquor Control Commission will regulate sales of the drug.
A similar measure is on the ballot in Alaska.
“Wins in Alaska and Oregon will provide a boost to efforts in other states because they will demonstrate the benefits of regulating and taxing marijuana. Losses won’t really have much impact. After all, an initiative to make marijuana legal failed in Colorado in 2006,” Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, told USA Today.
Washington D.C. voters also approved a legal marijuana initiative, but unlike Oregon it has not set up a mechanism for regulation and distribution.
Twenty-three states already permit medical marijuana. Florida’s medical marijuana initiative received more than 50 percent of the vote, but failed to reach the 60 percent needed to pass.
Tvert noted that in 2012 Oregon voters rejected an initiative that would have legalized the cultivation of cannabis for personal use without a license. “Some states will end marijuana prohibition more quickly than others, just as some states ended alcohol prohibition more quickly than others,” he stated. “But they all did in the end, and now just about everybody recognizes that it was a good idea.”
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