Nov. 8 - The U.S. states of Colorado and Washington have voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Julie Noce reports.
Marijuana smokers in Colorado and Washington are celebrating after residents in both states voted to legalize the plant for recreational consumption. Under the new laws, people over the age of 21 will be allowed up to one ounce of marijuana, purchased at state licensed stores where it will be taxed like alcohol. In Colorado, known voters took the measure one step further allowing people to grow their own weed... up to six plants worth. Supporters of the bill likened it to repealing alcohol prohibition in the 1930s' (SOUNDBITE)(English) CO-DIRECTOR OF THE YES ON 64 CAMPAIGN, MASON TVERT SAYING: "So just like with alcohol prohibition, our state is standing up and saying we are no longer going to foot the bill for this failed, ineffective, wasteful policy of prohibition. And if the federal government wants to deal with that itself, that is their prerogative. But we are trying a new and more sensible approach and we certainly hope the federal government will work with our state..." The measures are in direct defiance of federal laws that continue to classify the drug as an illegal narcotic, and could provoke intervention from Washington DC. Colorado's governor says federal and local governments should work together to find a solution. (SOUNDBITE)(English) COLORADO GOVERNOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER SAYING: "Well, you know, obviously I did not support it, I think it is, I think the federal government is probably going to come down just like in prohibition, you can not do it by state by state. But I think, at the very minimum, we should work aggressively to de-criminalize it, make sure kids do not get felony records. I mean the voters, the voters were pretty clear what they feel and what they want. So, within the limits of federal law, of whatever the federal government will permit, we have to figure out what is the, how we are going to go forward." For now, marijuana supporters are still riding high on their victory.