SPARKS & RECREATION: Oregon, Alaska And Washington D.C. Vote To Legalize Marijuana



VOX: Voters in Oregon narrowly rejected recreational marijuana legislation in 2012, but had the chance to reconsider the issue Tuesday, passing the measure with 54% in favor and becoming the third state in the nation to legalize weed, after Colorado and Washington. The measure, which will not take effect until July 1, allows possession of up to eight ounces of marijuana, while cultivating four plants. Pot shops will be regulated like liquor stores and would only be open to people over the age of 21. MORE

TIME: Legalization advocates also won a victory in Washington, D.C. With nearly 70% of the vote in favor, residents in the nation’s capital adopted what some industry experts call a “soft legalization” measure. While the District won’t have a regulated market like Oregon, it’s now legal for residents 21 and older to possess up to 2 oz. of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants at home, as well as give 1 oz. of marijuana to someone else, without payment. Selling pot is still not allowed. The D.C. news comes with caveats for residents ready to celebrate: the new rules apply only to those who live in the three-quarters of D.C. that is not on federal land, where the substance remains verboten. Congress also has the power to step in and supersede the actions of D.C. officials. MORE

BUZZFEED: Alaskans voted Tuesday on a ballot measure that legalized a market for recreational marijuana, allowing the state to tax at a wholesale rate of $50 per ounce. The measure also allows residents to possess one ounce of marijuana and grow limited amounts in private. Results showed 52% of voters supported legalization. MORE

RELATED: The marijuana legalization movement obviously celebrated the victories, but supporters always cautioned that 2014 was never going to make or break the movement. Prior to Election Day, Marijuana Policy Project spokesperson Mason Tvert said that, win or lose in 2014, polls show support for legalization growing over time. The big year, experts and advocates say, is 2016, when legalization will likely be on the ballot in California, where medical marijuana is already legal, and several more states. “It’s an uphill battle, but we see support growing at the state and federal level,” Tvert said. “We’ve filed committees to support initiatives in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada.” Legalization advocates expect to deal with a much friendlier electorate in those states than they did in Alaska, Oregon, and Florida this year. Young voters are more likely to turn out for presidential elections than midterms, and young voters are much more likely to support legalization than older generations. MORE