Cannabis and the US November 6, 2012 Elections

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On 6 November 012, three states – Oregon, Washington and Colorado – are voting on whether to legalise the sale and recreational use of marijuana (in addition to the presidential election).

Seventeen states, plus the District of Columbia, currently allow the sale and use of marijuana, but only for medicinal use.

The plans would see marijuana regulated in a similar way to cigarettes and alcohol, and would allow it to be sold to anyone 21 or over.

Proponents say it would generate millions of dollars in revenue for the state government, and free up courts and prisons for more serious offenders.

Opponents say it is a dangerous drug and that any state that passes the law – and polls suggest Washington and Colorado might – would then be on a collision course with federal government. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and federal law trumps state law.

Lawyers say it is hard to predict if federal government would step in. “We really don’t know how it would play out,” says Jennie Drage Bowser, an expert on ballot measures with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Cannabis election

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