With the Tuesday midterms, several states voted to allow the recreational use of marijuana, which until now has been regarded by the federal government as a Schedule I illegal substance along with the likes of heroin and LSD.
“Now that it’s been shown that putting marijuana legalization on the ballot can succeed even in midterms, we can expect to see a huge surge of additional states voting to end prohibition during the 2016 presidential election,” Tom Angell, the chairman of Marijuana Majority told the Huffington Post. “And because the issue has been proven to be mainstream as far as voters are concerned, we may even see lawmakers in several states jumping ahead to legalize marijuana legislatively in the meantime.”
Maine, New Mexico and Oregon are just a few of the states that will be experiencing some changes after Tuesday’s vote.
In Oregon voters approved Measure 91, which legalizes the possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana for adults over 21, making Oregon the third state in the nation to end the prohibition of marijuana. Colorado and Washington state legalized marijuana in 2012.
“Our vote in Oregon, by the people, is a huge step forward for the rationalization of our failed drug policies,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer said to The Huffington Post. “We’re going to celebrate the victory tonight and get to work on fixing federal policy in the morning.”
In Washington D.C., a majority of voters passed Initiative 71, which legalizes adult marijuana use, possession of up to 2 ounces and home cultivation of up to six marijuana plants for personal use.
Since the measure won the popular vote, the bill will now go on to Congress for a 60-day review period. If it encounters no problems there, the measure could go into effect in early 2015.
A few cities in New Mexico might be deciding to join in on the marijuana movement. Bernalillo and Santa Fe approved the decriminalization of marijuana in nonbinding ballot questions meant to gauge support for legalizing marijuana.
Alaska, Florida and California are also undergoing some pro-marijuana changes. If these states are any indication, it might not be long before we see the decriminalization of the drug across the nation.