California is a progressive state that started the trend in legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. It has yet to legalize the drug for recreational or non-prescribed use.
Colorado and Washington have though. Marijuana is now legal is those two states.
Although still illegal under federal law, Amendment 64 was added to the Colorado state constitution, allowing adults aged 21 years and older to have up to an ounce of pot on them and to grow up to six plants in the privacy of their own home. If prescribed marijuana for medicinal purposes, an adult is allowed up to two ounces on his or her person.
Side note: there is no proof of residency required for this amendment. If a tourist is stopped with an ounce or less of weed while in the state of Colorado, there are no legal ramifications for that individual’s possession.
Marijuana Legalization Affects
In Washington state, Initiative 502, the recent ruling that legalized pot, follows the state’s alcohol model: if you cannot drink alcohol at a specific public place, then you can also not smoke marijuana there.
The recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington has started to change the way the drug is viewed throughout the United States. Although other states have not yet followed suit with their own laws for the legalization of marijuana, there is an underlying influence on the drug’s presence in our country.
One group that is rumored to be effected are Mexican drug cartels, currently the main supplier of marijuana to the United States, mainly through illegal routes of entry.
Although the Mexican Competitiveness Institute’s studies estimate the Mexican cartels losing $1.425 billion in Colorado and $1.372 in Washington because of the state legalizations, it is thought that the hypothetical legalization in California would create more of an actual financial issue for the cartels than these two states combined.
It is interesting to think about because, really, it can be argued that the domestic production of marijuana could stimulate the economy in a positively influential way. However legalization of cannabis can lead to an increase in availability and marijuana addiction.
Blog Post By:Jared Friedman