Recreational marijuana use, same-sex marriage, porn actors forced to use condoms and the death penalty were among 170 changes to state laws voted on across the United States yesterday.
Both Washington state and Colorado passed bills to regulate the sale of marijuana while Oregon rejected the proposal. In Washington, it is now legal for adults to possess small amounts of weed for personal use – its sale will be regulated and taxed. In Washington and Colorado, people over 21 will now be able to buy up to 28 grams of dry weed, half a kilogram of weed-infused products, such as cookies, or two kilograms of weed-infused liquids.
Sales won’t begin until officials make new laws to govern the new industry. Supporters of the industry say the changes will raise $2 billion in taxes over five years and reduce arrests. The money will be spent on health care, education and other government services according to officials quoted in Associated Press.
Massachusetts became the 18th state to legalise medical marijuana for people suffering a variety of ailments ranging from cancer to Parkinson’s disease.
Facebook campaigns have pushed for change in laws controlling weed. More than 2 million people “like” a Facebook page called “Legalize Marijuana”. The vote in Washington state and Colorado goes against the federal prohibition of the drug. The federal government could go to court to block the laws but this seems unlikely according to recent reports. Federal authorities have not indicated any intention to fight the new policies.
California rejected a call to ban the death penalty. Meanwhile in Los Angeles County, the heart of the US pornographic film industry, voters endorsed a new law to force porn actors to use condoms on set. – Nigel Gladstone
Photos from Legalize Marijuana Facebook page.