In a historic vote that will reverberate around the nation, the Denver NBC affiliated has projected that Colorado will pass Amendment 64 and will legalize marijuana. By a vote of 53% to 47% (with 38% of the vote tallied) news networks have begun to confirm that Colorado’s Amendment 64 has been passed by voters.
This marks the first time in history that a state has moved to legalize marijuana outright for adult consumers. This vote shows that, like alcohol prohibition before it, cannabis prohibition is a failed, unpopular policy that largely relies on state and local enforcement. Alcohol prohibition came to an end when a sufficient number of states enacted legislation repealing the state’s alcohol prohibition laws. With states no longer doing the federal government’s bidding to enforce an unpopular law, the Feds eventually had no choice but to abandon the policy altogether. History is now repeating itself.
Until now, no state law has defined cannabis as a legal commodity. Some state laws do provide for a legal exception that allows for certain qualified patients to possess specific amounts of cannabis as needed. But, until this evening, no state in modern history has classified cannabis itself as a legal product that may be lawfully possessed and consumed by adults. Thanks to the support from their voters, Colorado has no taken that brave first step.
Stay tuned for more information on this monumentous event, as we’ll be writing much, much more about it in the coming days. Also, continue watching NORML’s live election coverage here to see if Washington and Oregon will follow Colorado’s lead.