Colorado, Washington and Oregon seek to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes
Earlier this week I provided my opinion on the legalization of marijuana. Voters in two weeks will be voting on the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. Colorado, Washington and Oregon voters are voting on this controversial issue. According to the Chicago Tribune: “All three ballot initiatives are a step beyond the laws that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.” As of now, 17 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws making it legal to distribute, manufacture and possess marijuana for such purposes.
The Justice Department has remained silent on the ballot initiatives. If the initiatives are passed it would be in direct violation and contradiction of the Controlled Substances Act. Federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, along with cocaine and heroin. Critics state the administration’s position “to continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives.”
Colorado’s ballot initiative, Amendment 64, is the most likely to pass. Under the law, retail stores would be allowed to sell marijuana and it would be taxed and regulated like alcohol and tobacco. 51% of voters, according to a Denver poll, support the initiative. Bruce Madison, former associate medical director of the faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, states: “…the truth is that the Colorado marijuana laws do just that, by wasting hundreds of millions of dollars in a failed war on marijuana, by ruining thousands of lives by unnecessary arrest and incarceration, and by causing the deaths of hundreds of people killed in black-market criminal activities.”
I think he brings up a good point. We imprison thousands of people for possession of small amounts of marijuana. We could use our resources in more productive areas.
What do you think?
Should marijuana be legalized?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate