Expanding Legalized Marijuana

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated September 19, 2014

It has been a busy year for the marijuana industry, especially in places like Colorado, who kicked off the New Year by legalizing marijuana. Since then, Washington State has followed in their footsteps, and even more states are looking to do the same.

Now, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia are allowing voters to cast their opinions on whether or not their state should legalize marijuana usage, possession, and growing. While each state has its own share of opinions in regards to the possibility of legalization, many individuals tied to the movement are confident that these three states will join Colorado and Washington State as being some of the first areas of the country to legalize recreational marijuana.

According to Mason Tvert, Communications Director for the Marijuana Policy Project, “Public support for ending marijuana prohibition is at an all-time high, and people can sense that change is inevitable.”

How It Would Work

If votes to legalize marijuana pass, each one of these states would have their own rules and regulations in regards to how marijuana would be handled. A passed bill in each state would produce the following results:

  • Alaska – In Alaska, legalization of marijuana would allow individuals over 21 years of age the right to possess (one ounce) and purchase the drug legally. It would also allow Alaskans to maintain and grow up to six plants.
  • Oregon – As in Alaska, citizens of Oregon (21 years of age or older) could possess only a certain amount of marijuana at a time – up to eight ounces. They could also possess up to 4 plants per household.
  • District of Columbia – Again, citizens 21 or older would be able to legally possess up to two ounces of marijuana and six plants.

If passed, the sales of marijuana in both Alaska and Oregon would be controlled by The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (AK) and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OR). In the District, it would not be recognized as a regulating-and-taxing law, but instead would help shift the focus of law enforcement officials towards more disruptive and deadly crimes in the city.

What You Should Know

In a world where we are witnessing such great change on the drug-front, it is important that you remain educated about what is going on with these laws, as well as the pros and cons behind the legalization of marijuana. It is also critical that you remain informed on the many side effects and dangers associated with this drug prior to using it for personal reasons or allowing your loved ones to use it. Talking openly and honestly with friends and family about this issue can help keep everyone in the know and safe at this time.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.