By Garrett Rudolph
SALEM, Ore. — Election Day 2014 was a resounding success for cannabis advocates across the nation, as Oregon and Alaska became the third and fourth states to legalize marijuana for recreational use, in addition to a handful of other local bills that eased criminal penalties for possession.
Oregon voters approved Measure 91 on Nov. 4 with 54.8 percent of the vote (with 73 percent of precincts reporting).
The measure bears similarity to Washington’s Initiative 502, which legalized marijuana in the Evergreen State in 2012. However, Oregon’s measure allows people to possess a larger amount of marijuana, grants residents the right to grow their own cannabis and presents a more business-friendly tax rate for those that plan to enter the regulated, legal market.
Alaska followed through by approving Amendment 2 with 52 percent of the popular vote and 97 percent of precincts reporting.
Washington, D.C. also legalized recreational marijuana, although there are currently no plans for the district to permit retail sales. A number of other cities and districts adopted more liberal marijuana laws Tuesday night, in addition to Guam legalizing medical marijuana.
Florida, which required a super-majority to approve its medical marijuana amendment, was the only major cannabis-related election that failed. Florida residents supported Amendment 2 with 57 percent of the vote, but needed 60 to pass.
See the December issue of Marijuana Venture for more cannabis-related election coverage. If you’re not already a subscriber, follow this link to sign up.